I have a very vivid memory of a patient was a very sharp 95 year old lady whose father was killed when she was a girl. The last thing she said to anybody in this world was to tell me, Daddy loved me- I was the apple of his eye, everyone knew that and he took me everywhere, to the auction, to town, to feed you name it. I was daddy's little girl. Everybody fussed over me because I was his little girl. He died when I was only 5. He was kicked in the head by a horse. He lived for a few days, but that was it. Facing her own end she was still hurt at the thought of that loss and also I guessed at how everything changed that east Texas morning on that blackland cotton farm in East Texas nearly a hundred years ago. She would have been the only one still alive in this world who would have any memory of the event and she shared that little piece of her with me about 9 o'clock one night.
She went to sleep afterward and slept like a baby all night with me holding her hand until hers went limp and she no longer held on when I attempted to withdraw mine.
When I took a restroom break later I saw a picture on the wall I hadn't noticed before that was obviously her in a flour sack dress being held by her father. He was wearing a white shirt and straw hat and was grinning from ear to ear. Behind them was the corral where he was probably kicked to death soon after that photograph was made.
She died early the next morning a few minutes after I bathed her and dressed her for the day. I put everything up and went back to check on her and she was gone. It was very easy to imagine them together in heaven and him in that instant grabbing her and holding on tight and saying, What took you so long baby girl?