She didn’t see.
She decided to put away the family Christmas decorations to help out in some sort of way. Mom shouldn’t have to worry about such things. Salty rivulets trail down her back as she hauls box after box of dusty memories down the stairs to carefully pack away a lifetime of Christmases. The phone rings and she jumps over boxes to grab her keys and rush out the door.
She doesn’t remember the drive there, but she knows that hospital room. One of the last to arrive. She is alone, yet surrounded by family at the same time. They wait. She waits.
She grabs his hand- she must have. She doesn’t remember ever holding that hand, but she must have. Every little girl holds her Daddy’s hand doesn’t she?
She was holding it now…
Her eyes were riveted to the machines, the monitors that would tell her when it was over. She hated those machines and the message they were going to deliver, but she was going to face them.He was brave like that.
The seconds crawled over her skin, irritating and painful in a way she could never have anticipated.
And then he squeezed her hand.
Her eyes flashed to his face and away from that screen. Frantic, hopeful, confused…
She searched for some other sign. For one brief second she felt like he was coming back, and it was that one second that took him away forever.
She doesn’t remember holding her dad’s hand in life many times, if at all, but she will see and feel that last clasp from that moment on.