One more hour

October 12, 2017
I awoke the morning of September seventh in my small house of three bedrooms and one bathroom.I get up and kiss my wife Laura on the cheek.

"I'll be back in a few hours honey, sleep tight."

It was still about 5:30 in the morning as I got dressed. I put on a white button up shirt and my black slacks. I slipped on my dress socks and shoes. As I ran out the house I grabbed a slice of cold pizza. The drive to the hospital was long and quiet, I spent most the time reminiscing about my daughters. A tear went down my cheek. It rolled down feeling warm, almost hot. I pulled up to the hospital, realizing I left my tie, it was irrelevant though. Hearing the engine cut off, I collected myself and calmly walked up to the double doors of the hospital, upon entrance I was hit with a smell only able to be described as a "Hospital smell". I went up the elevator to the 8th floor, room 13. I sat in the chair next to the hospital bed, grasping her hand gently, holding it close. What was once long, luscious, blonde hair has been reduced to her bald scalp. I kissed her cheeks, feeling the tears start to run again. I hear the beep of the heart rate monitor, over and over, it's steady. She looked at me, her eyes pale. The beat sped up slightly. I looked at her, she had her mother's face and my nose. I kissed her forehead and began to sob. She looked at my eyes.

"I love you Dad."

Was all she said, he rough scratchy voice was hardly able to spit out the words. I couldn't stop sobbing, I was supposed to be strong, be there for her, tell her it would all be okay, but I couldn't stop the tears.

"I love you too Lizzy."

I choked out the words, it made my lungs burn. I sniffled and she smiled.

"I-Its.. okay dad.. I... Love You.."

Then the heart beat monitor went to a long beep, the same tune, her heart had stopped. She was... Gone. My mind flashed images, her and her sister running in the yard, me holding her as a baby, and breaking the lamp in the living room. She was too young, not even through highschool. Eventually I made my way home, still crying, seeing the rode through cloudy vision. I parked in the driveway. I walked through the house undressing along the way, passing photos of her and the family, her trophies. She was always a daddy's girl. She loved her daddy, and now she's gone. All I want now is one more hug, one more kiss, one more school event, one more football game, one more hour.





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