Never be afraid to stand with the minority when the minority is right, for the minority which is right will one day be the majority. - William Jennings Bryan
Saturday, August 13, 2005
To Touch the Face of God
At 11:30 pm, on Friday, August 12th, 2005, my grandfather, Newland M. Daugherty, left this world to go home to the next life. He was 84, and died at the James H. Quillen Veterans Administration Hospital, in Johnson City, Tennessee.
We buried my Aunt Faye at 2:00 pm today, and immediatley went to the Veteran's Hospital. At 11:25 pm, I went to the bathroom. My parents had went out at 11:23 pm or so to smoke. Kayla, my sister, didn't want to be left in the waiting room alone, so she walked up the hall, too. At 11:28 pm, I came out of the bathroom, and Kayla was standing beside Papaw's door, and told me she had just looked in to see how he was. She said he didn't look any different than he had when we had last been in. No sooner did we sit down in the waiting room did a nurse, teary eyes and frowning, come to ask us where our parents were. Kayla immediatley burst out crying, and I knew what was happening. We ran without stopping through the hospital until we found them, and we all jogged back to the room (my mom is short and heavy, so it was hard for her to jog, but she did it). I kept Kayla from going in the room. I heard my Mom cry out, and my dad came out the room, teary eyed and said "Your Papaw isn't suffering anymore."
Well, I had promised myself I wouldn't cry, because I had sort of braced myself for it, and I knew he was ready to go. But that promise went out the window then and there. I couldn't hold back the flood gates. My heart has never hurt more in my life.
My sister, mother and father, all crying and holding on to each other, headed up the hall, to sign some papers that needed signing. But I couldn't leave without a final goodbye. I had told him I loved him a few days ago when he was talking, and he said "I love you too, son." And I told him tonight I loved him, and saw a flicker of recognition in his eyes. But I did go in there, and he looked so serene and...out of pain.
I know now he's holding hands with his beloved Wilma (gone ten years next month) and is with his favorite daughter, Faye, and his mother and father, and the rest of his family that he had missed, and he's finally at peace, home.
I love you Papaw.
P.S.-My mother is taking all of this harder than anyone, since she had lost both her oldest sister and her father within a week. Please keep her (and all of us), in your prayers.