I first experienced death in the fall of 1958 when I was ten years old. It had been hovering around our apartment for several years. Daddy had a stoke so I knew he could die. I couldn’t comprehend exactly what death meant. I don’t remember anyone explaining anything to me. I just knew he went to Heaven. I suppose going to Sunday School every Sunday had a story way back that taught the concept.
If you want to know the truth, I thought he was coming back. I grieved hard for my daddy. I lost him several years before. He had pre-senile dementia and wasn’t the same daddy I had when I was younger. I still didn’t want him to leave. I don’t know if we are ever ready for a parent to die. I am not sure what age is easier; at ten or sixty-five.
Not long before he passed he said,”EulaMae, get me a glass of water.”
I laughed and said,”Daddy, I’m not Eula Mae.”
He said, “If you’re not EulaMae, who are you?”
“I am Yvonne,”I said.
I’ll never forget how daddy cried and cried when I explained that EulaMae was his oldest daughter and I the thirteenth child of fourteen. He kept crying.
“Myrtle, where was I all those years?” He cried.
“Where was I?”
I sat down on the couch and cried with daddy.
That was fifty-eight years ago. It still hurts.