Veteran L.A. journalist and author Al Martinez has been keeping readers up to date on his daughter Cinthia's cancer in his Daily News columns. Today, he writes about her final days. Excerpt:
Night quickened into a golden morning on the day Cindy died.
It glowed over the still dampened leaves of the oak trees in our yard and reflected off the windows of the house.
Days of rain had ceased but the world continued to glisten with an afterthought of the storms that had shrouded us for what seemed an eternity.
Our extended family of 12 took turns standing around our Cindy's bedside and watching her struggle for life with short, shallow breaths and then at last sigh and settle gracefully into her dreams.
For days she had been in a semiconscious state, awakening long enough to whisper her pleasures and annoyances in words we had to lean closer to hear, but the disease that was taking her life would not even allow her that, and she drifted into a coma.
Her full name was Cinthia Louise. She was 59, born in May 1951, just two months after I had been shipped out by the Marines to fight in the Korean War. When I came home on a rainy night in San Francisco she was handed to me by my wife, Joanne, who said simply, "Meet your daughter."
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