I will never forget that Dark Day. The day when the skies that rolled over my head became polluted with looming thunderclouds. Adelind stood next to him while I knelt by the edge of the bed. Margarete, Cristyne and Elsebeth stood awkwardly behind us.
“Papa” my voice was full of tears. “It’s going to be all right” I promised. He shook his head at me slowly.
“No, mon amour, it won’t.” His voice was hoarse and raspy, not the deep, rich velvet I remembered.
“You can’t leave us, papa; you can’t leave me.”
He pushed an errant lock of my wavy hair back behind my ear and smiled softly at me, the way he always did. I knew that smile. That was his comforting smile. The smile of a man who wanted his daughter to be happy even though he could do nothing for her. “If the Lord is calling, I must answer.”
“It’s not your time yet, I’m not ready for this!”
“I am ready.” He pressed a kiss to my palm and closed his eyes. I sobbed into his bedspread, begging him to stay. I heard Adelind sniffle behind me. He was gone.