10. Beat the Clock

We came expecting to comfort my mother.

She wanted to comfort us with muffins and tea.


We expected that cancer would leave her looking pale.

She found makeup to match her post-chemo complexion.


We thought she might wear a gown and robe.

She wore a red dress with black high-heeled sandals.


We gave her an early birthday gift — just in case.

She gave us a book, a CD, and two newspaper articles.


We looked at the clock, past time to hit the road.

She kept right on ticking, like that card game


we used to play when I was a girl — Beat the Clock.

She’s still winning, just like she always did.