Katie is breathing her last. She came to the nursing home a few days before my mother and they were the new girls together. I love her dearly, and she told me many a story of the old days when her parents died and left her an orphan at the age of 13. She and her 16-year-old brother raised their three younger brothers alone, under the watchful eye of a few neighbors who tried to help as they could. This was the Depression, after all, and families had their own troubles to deal with.
I found Katie much worse today, but asleep and in no pain. Her son and his wife had been with her most of the night and were coming back from taking a break when I arrived. They thanked me again for writing her childhood stories into a book. Their pastor had a copy and was reading it in preparation for the funeral we know will come soon. As sad as we are she is leaving us, we know we will always remember her by her stories, printed and bound fast to our hearts.