Tommy had sat for three days next to his wife’s bed. Sometimes he held her hand. Sometimes he dabbed her brow with a cool flannel. Her breathing was a little laboured. The liver cancer had hit fast, but these last three days of waiting were slow.
She seemed to settle for the night; another long night.
Claude had this thing about huge fluffy cloud formations on the horizon. “It’s silly,” he said, “but whenever someone I know is dying there’s always a huge fluffy cloud formation on the horizon. It’s as if angels with a golden chariot are hidden in the cloud and are coming to take the dying person away. Of course, it’s only my imagination and I doubtless notice it only when someone is dying, for it’s probably there most days.”
Claude remembered when his father was dying many years ago, and a huge fluffy cloud formation appeared on the horizon. He remembered when his mother was dying, again many years ago, and a cloud formation more majestic than fluffy, appeared on the horizon. He remembered when his wife was dying and a great evening red and gold cloud formation appeared with shafts of beatific sunlight.
Claude was now 78. Last evening he saw the most stunning cloud formation appear on the horizon. It was so beautiful he took a photo.