To the editor:
You may remember me as Bob Cottam, the guy with the plaid tam that has become my trademark apparently. From time to time, I have written about numerous subjects, and I hope you, the readers, have found them interesting.
I have written on several occasions regarding our mother, who was in her 100th year when she passed away peacefully on Sept. 1, 1997. Some of you may have seen her obituary and picture. This time, I’d like to tell of her passing, a sad but celebrated time in her 100th year.
I phoned Mum every Saturday night, and we always had a half-hour conversation—unless a hockey game was on when hockey took over above me.
On the last Saturday night, I phoned and she was fine but felt tired, and evidently had a premonition of her life’s end. She said, “Bob, I’m tired," and then added, "I feel as though I’d be letting the family down if I don’t make it to my 100th birthday” (which was only three months away.
I could see that she was really concerned so I said to her, “Mum, as loving and caring and dedicated that you have been to this family, you’d not be letting us down.”
With that, she sighed and said, “Well thanks, Bob. I feel better about it." And with that being said, she added, "Goodbye, Bob” in a very deliberate, loud and clear manner.
I replied, “Mum, we never say goodbye but so long.”
After a hesitating moment, she said, once again loud and clear, “Goodbye, Bob, I’m going to go to sleep now. I’m tired.” Having said that, she dropped off in sleep and slept for five days before finally slipping away.
My brother, Stan Cottam, flew out to be with Mum those five days but she slept peacefully, and with no response. Finally, on the fifth day, Stan had to leave Victoria but mother slipped away only hours after he returned home.
Mother probably knew he was there but after his final goodbye, she let go—and peacefully slipped away.
I thought, initially, that my story was unique. But after telling mine, I find numerous people experiencing almost the same happening to their loves ones, which was interesting.