We were living on a farm near Tulsa, Oklahoma, In July 1921. The noise of the men and machinery in the process of baling bluestem hay came with the breeze through the open kitchen window, where, shortly before ten o’clock, I was busy cooking the noon meal for a crew of hungry men.
My three children were in an adjoining room. As I worked, I thought about my mother in Indiana, who slowly was dying of cancer of the liver. Until my husband David and I had moved west, we all had lived in the same house. Not a doting grandmother, my mother had made my life pretty miserable after the birth of each child.
A hush fell over the place. I glanced through the window and saw the men standing around the water keg, I stepped to the door of the next room to see what my children were doing. I gasped. There on my low rocker sat my mother, with her arms around my children. Memory of her pain-ravaged face as it turned toward me still brings tears to my eyes. Her eyes were pleading silently for forgiveness and love.
The vision was like a flash- gone in an instant, but as real as life. When my astonished eyes could focus again, I saw my oldest child lying on the floor reading, his feet propped in a chair. His sisters sat on the floor, dressing their dolls.
They were unaware of the shock I had received. I forgot to bake pie that day and was scolded for my negligence. I never did tell my husband of this experience; he would have laughed, But that pleading look in my mother’s eyes meant more to me than pies.
That same evening a telegram came. It said: “Your mother died this morning at ten minutes of ten o’clock.”