There was a knock at the door.
It started out to be just another ordinary day, but it ended in a shocking and terrible way.
I opened the door, and a policeman stood there. He asked if a Catharine Brandford-Mensah lived here.
I looked at him with anticipation and not a little fear.
I told him that I was she.
Right away questions bombarded my thoughts…which one of my kids is in trouble now?
My boys were always getting into trouble, so an officer appearing at my door didn’t surprise me.
Confirming my identification with the officer, he then took his hat off. I should have known it was bad news when I saw him do that.
What he said next seemed to freeze me in time, his words resounding in my ears. I would never have believed that he was here to deliver bad news. I found it hard to believe the words coming out of him.
“I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but your mother, Rosemary Saunders passed away last night, in Windsor. Your sister, Diane gave us your address and asked if we would deliver the news, since you do not have a phone.”
I just stared at him for a few seconds, trying to grasp the fact that my sister had sent a police officer to tell me that my mother had died.
He looked away from my face for a few seconds, and then back at me.
My twenty-year-old daughter, Rose who had been standing behind me shrieked and burst out crying.
I looked up at him, and felt the blood draining from my face, shock taking over, as I was barely able to answer him.
As tears formed in my eyes, I looked at him and thanked him for bringing me the news.
“Are you alright, ma’am? Maybe you need to sit down for a minute.”
“No, I’m O.K. officer,” I tried to smile at him.
“Are you sure your going to be O.K?” His bright blue eyes held concern for me as I reassured him that I was going to be fine.
“Yes, I have my family here to help me, thank you again.”
He smiled and placed his hat back on his head, nodded to me, turned and walked away.
I turned around to see how my daughter and sons were handling the news. My nineteen-year-old son, Chris and my younger son Justin, then only fifteen hugged me, patted my back and told me that everything was going to be alright.
My daughter looked at me and announced. “I’m going out dancing.” I looked at her as if she had two heads, which at that moment I thought she had. The one head telling the other one, that she could best deal with grief if she danced her sorrows away.
I looked at her with tears in my eyes, and anger in my voice, “what on earth is wrong with you. Your Grandmother just died, and you want to go dancing?”
Rose looked at me, “I loved Grandma, and this is my way of handling her death. I can remember her just as well on the dance floor, as well as sitting around here looking at each other, wallowing in our grief.”
I just looked at her, resigned myself to the fact that this child of mine had always had a mind of her own, and would continue to handle life in her own unique manner, despite what others thought.
Life had been altered forever as I realized that my mother had passed from this life, and I did not get a chance to even say goodbye.
The last time I had called home and talked to my mom she told me that she was going into the hospital because she had a problem with one of her kidneys.
When I had called home earlier that week I spoke with my eldest daughter Rebecca who lived with my mother. She told me that Grandma was doing much better, and that she should be coming home soon.
Now she told me that suddenly she had taken a heart attack the previous night and died. I knew Rebecca loved her grandmother deeply, and that she was feeling the loss the same if not more than my other children, but she did not express it by breaking down.
Rebecca told me this news with little emotion. Realizing the different personalities within my children, it did not surprise me that she could tell me this with her emotions well intact.
I sat alone in the kitchen at the table contemplating how my life could change in a matter of seconds, just by merely answering a knock at the door.