My ex father-in-law, Clayton Hooker, was somewhat of an imposing man, very outspoken, but very down to earth.
Clayton was from Kentucky…not white fenced, rolling hills, horse farm Kentucky, mind you. Clayton was from Harlan County, Kentucky…backwoods, coal mining, “you’ll never leave Harlan alive” Kentucky.
He died in his sleep one afternoon, alone on his couch. I knew he’d been sick, but no one knew he’d been that sick. It was such a shock. It just didn’t feel like his time.
I remember the day we laid him to rest back home in Harlan. I sat behind his grieving daughters, and I could hear him speaking in my head. I wondered if it was because he always seemed to be speaking when I was around him, but then my brother-in-law leaned over and said, “Man! It’s strange! I can hear him speaking.”
That should have been a clue that he hadn’t really left us yet.