Two of Isabelle's three daughters sat next to the hospital bed which had become more familiar to her than her own at home in recent years. Her weakened heart and lungs were weary of the battle to sustain her life, and those who loved her knew that death was gaining ground.
Although the doctors had told her family that she was unlikely to make it home again, it seemed that Isabelle had rallied that day, more alert and talkative than usual. Friends and relatives had come and gone, some staying to visit for awhile; and she had talked with her middle daughter on the phone.
As the day passed into sunset Isabelle had grown tired, and her youngest daughter noted that she seemed a bit puzzled as she kept glancing around the room. Finally, looking at her daughter, she whispered in labored breaths, "Who are all those people?"
Knowing that her father and sister were the only others present in the room, Isabelle's daughter attributed the comment to her mother slipping in and out of awareness of her surroundings. She didn't think more of it until late that night when her father called her to say that the hospital had summoned them; Isabelle had begun her journey to the spirit world. Only then did she realize that the people her mother had seen gathered in the room around her had been family and friends who had passed on before her and had come to take her home.
This post is linked up at Two Shoes Tuesday,
where the prompt this week is "gather".