I should have stopped for coffee

I was on my way from Sweden to Hanover on Sunday, as I was giving a workshop there Monday morning. I had calculated the time needed as 6 1/2 hours using Google Maps (advice: don't. They seem to take a speed of 120 km/h, even in 80 km/h zones or through town) and was now with an estimated time of trip around 8 1/2 hours.

I drove past the exit where we get off to go visit my mother-in-law. I debated turning off and getting her to make me a cup of coffee. But I would like to call first, and she never hears the phone, and she'll be irritated that I didn't call so she could make a cake, and anyway, we're visiting next weekend. So I drove by.

Monday evening we got a call - the neighbor had found her passed out in her bedroom that morning. They took her to the hospital, where it was determined that she had suffered a massive stroke Sunday evening. She died without regaining consciousness this afternoon, three years and three months after her husband.

I wish now that I had stopped for coffee.

She celebrated her 80th birthday this spring - I'm so happy her friends and family came for that. We'll soon be meeting again in the village pub, this time to remember her, and to give thanks for her life.

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