The phone rang at 4:00 A.M. with news that Daddy was on his deathbed and I needed to come home to New Orleans. Confused, I took a minute or two to get my head clear, then I panicked. Suddenly, I was a little girl about to lose her father, sinking below despair, but that despair vanished when I got my wits about me.
It was Daddy she was talking about.
I had detested him all my life. Why should I pretend to care about him on his deathbed? Waste of time and money to go to New Orleans, rushing home to say last words. I had no last words for him, this man who never did a thing for us -- except to beat Mother when he...