Ever since she was a child, Marina Lopez always imagined she'd die young. After all, Billy Joel did say "Only the good die young". Eventually she had to give up on that absurd idea, because her father was blessed to live to the ripe old age of 76, and he was one of the best men Marina had ever known. So she imagined if he was ever going to die before her, he would be somewhere in his 90's. He would still be the picture of health, for a man his age. He wouldn't be lying in some hospital bed with an Aide coming to turn him every couple hours, even if it was on one of the Skilled Nursing Floors at the Erie County Medical Center.
He was always so active right up until the accident, so even with his complicated history of health issues, Marina figured if he was going to need Dialysis someday, he'd be getting it while sitting up in a Geri-chair and reading his bible. She never would have guessed that it would be while he was confined to the same hospital bed day-in and day-out because he didn't have the will or the strength to sit up for more than five minutes at a time. If you knew Marina's father at all, you may well have believed this was an exaggeration, but it actually wasn't much of one at all.
Yet even with a broken neck and back (that it took multiple surgeries to somewhat repair) and no legs, he still managed to get by on a smile that could light up a room on the darkest day, put the sun to shame and have all the nurses and aides come running to do his bidding, especially on the rare occasion that he would actually ask for something.
The possibility that Marina might not ever see that smile again was unthinkable. Whenever she was lost or in trouble, she always had her "daddy" to turn to. No matter how old she got. This time she was lost and in trouble, and had the feeling that no matter how much time passed she'd never get back to the person she was.