As given in his Songfacts interview, this song is about Hal Ketchum's grandfather, who had just recently passed away. Explaining the line, "Where's the angels sent down to protect him?" Ketchum explains: "I just set up the next line, too. 'Where are the angels sent down to protect him? Am I all that's left of his life?' It's kind of a protective statement, if you think about it, because I'm sure there were angels protecting him the whole way. But it sets up the singular for the other character. 'Am I all that's left of his life?' Sort of a why now, why him? Why, Lord, why? Self pity. It's a self pity line. And it's total bull. We're surrounded by angels." (Check out the full Hal Ketchum interview)
Hal Ketchum is a lot more than a country music artist - he's also an author, of numerous short stories such as The Clock Struck Nine, included in the anthology A Guitar and a Pen; an actor, appearing in the 1988 film Heartbreak Hotel and the 1994 film Maverick, and a painter whose artwork has been featured in the Pena Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. All this while battling multiple sclerosis and acute transverse myelitis, which has left him without the use of the left side of his body.