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39

 

An hour before we were due to leave Myrtle Beach, May 21st, 2:30 p.m., up rushed Tony Roothbert—to the dining room, wearing a raincoat and carrying an umbrella. It was raining hard—with thunder and lightning—not an unusual occurrence when Baba is about to leave a place. Tony had come armed with a manuscript, "How Baba's Silence Speaks," written by a neighbor, Mr. Baarslag, who had met Baba on the Open Day and now wanted Baba to approve his article for the local paper. Delia explained Baba was resting, but she would try to get it to him. Baba saw it, liked it, and Delia was told to return it to Tony, who then rushed off to the printers!

 

The hour of departure had arrived; the sun began to shine. As we all stood by the gates outside the Guest House supervising the luggage going into the back of the cars, Baba went up to Elizabeth, sitting in the driver's seat, and asked if she had her insurance policy with her. Elizabeth replied that she did not have it but knew where it was at Youpon Dunes. Baba replied, "Stop as we pass Youpon Dunes and bring it with you." Elizabeth packed it right on top of one of her bags---most fortunately easy to reach, as it turned out later.

 

Elizabeth drove the blue Nash, Baba seated beside her, Mehera, Mani, and Meheru, behind. Sarosh drove the station wagon with myself, Rano, Dr. Goher, and Delia as his passengers. The first day the party ate a sandwich lunch in the cars, and stopped at places of sightseeing interest, then stayed overnight at a motel in Columbia, N.C. The second night we stopped at a place called Murphy and the next day we visited the Ruby waterfalls at Crystal Rock, Rock City. Elizabeth remarked that we would never get to California if we kept stopping for sightseeing. Baba replied, “This is our last sightseeing."

 

On the night of May 23rd we stayed at Pond Crest Motor Court in the Ozarks. Baba sent us out to a nearby small restaurant for a meal, but he, with Mehera, Mani, Meheru and Dr. Goher, remained in the motel and took just milk and bread. I recall Baba asked me to bring back some milk and bread for the morning. Sarosh, Delia, Rano and I were again sent out for breakfast, but the others stayed with Baba. I think of Baba knowing what was to happen before the day was over, spending the last few hours with that small close group whom he had known since they were children and who had loved him for so many years, finding in their presence the comfort, love and understanding he so much needed in that final hour.

 

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