Kicking and Screaming by gina below
He was aware of everything, every sound, every movement, but none more so than her. She sat Indian style on the hospital bed, barefoot and casual, as she talked with her Daddy. He listened to them, but not really hearing their conversation. What he heard was the tiny tremor in her laugh and the slight pause as she searched for the next thing to say in her polite conversation. Long ago he had asked her how she had learned how to do that so easily and she had smiled at him and said, “It’s a Southern Baptist thing”. She had laughed when he replied, “No, I’ve met other Southern Baptist and they got nothing on you.” Then she had kissed him. But now as he watched their conversation, he could see just where she had inherited that conversational talent from.
He wasn’t much for public displays of affection, but today he could not seem to release her hand. He felt the same fine tremor there as well, undetectable to anyone but him. No one knew her like he did. He also knew she would bite the inside of her bottom lip to keep it from trembling and that when she smiled her one dimple would not appear in her left cheek and every now and then a very slight shudder of fear would vibrate through her. She also would blink away any hint of tears so no one would see her cry; she tried to keep those to herself. This morning she wanted no one to worry, especially him. But he knew her; she was his, to have and to hold.
A nurse opened the door and announced that it was time and her Daddy stepped closer to her. “Can we pray together sweetheart?’ he asked. “Of course, Daddy” she replied as she took his trembling hand in her free one and she linked all three of them together as her Father prayed the words he as her husband could not make himself say out loud. A short prayer was all he could manage openly, but they all knew that he had not ceased in his silent pleas for her. His blue eyes looked up at her, bright with tears and she kissed him on his aging cheek, “I love you, Daddy,” and she gave his hand a squeeze before she released it and smiled at him. All he could manage was a nod as he turned toward the door to exit.
On any normal day her husband was an intimidating presence, but today more so. He straightened to his full 6 foot 6 inch height and stood facing her, he towered over her as he ran his hands up and down her arms. She laid her hands on his chest as he lightly kissed her. For long seconds they said nothing as they looked at each other and just before he kissed her harder he whispered, “Please don’t leave me!” Her hands gathered the front of his shirt as she held on to him, “They’ll have to drag me kicking and screaming”, she said when his long kissed released her. He visibly shook as he gathered her into his embrace and held her to his chest. She closed her eyes and melted into him as if she were made to fit that very spot in his arms. For long moments he held her and finally he moved his hands into her hair, “Come back to me” he pled softly as he kissed her again. “If I have to go, I’ll wait for you again, find me” she replied in whisper as she slid her hands up to touch his beautiful face, and then she smiled that smile she saved for him. “I’ll find you, I’ll find you”, he promised just as much for him to hear as for her. Then she nodded and they both became aware of the small audience in the doorway. With her best diplomatic smile and a bit of mischief in her eyes, she said to the small group in the doorway as he took a step back from her, “Oh my goodness, please excuse us”. There was nothing in this world like his Southern Belle he thought as he turned his head and kissed the palm of her hand that still lay on his cheek. He straightened to his full height and took another step back to allow them access to her and just before her hand slid from his as they wheeled her away she said in her best farm girl Southern drawl, “Kickin’ and screamin’ “ and she smiled at him with that big single dimpled smile.
Her Daddy had always wondered and worried about this half Yankee rebel bad boy his daughter had run off and married so long ago, but right here before his eyes one of his prayers was answered. If he ever doubted this man loved his little girl, he never would again, no sir. Together these two men that loved her watched them roll her away to the operating room and when she made that final turn and was gone from their view his son in law graciously excused himself and proceeded to the waiting room alone. His long legs carried him to his destination rapidly and just as her father opened the door to join him he saw the younger man hit his knees to pray.