During the next few days Rich and I worked at the landscaping company together, but he was distant. We hardly talked and when we did, even at home, it was in short, cordial sentences. It was totally unlike Rich to behave this way, so by the middle of the week I wanted to have a talk with him. After work we got home, and our parents were traveling for a few days so we had the house to ourselves. I made some dinner and at the table I decided it was time to talk.
Some say that rain is a sign of peace when a loved one passes on, but on this day it simply steeped the sadness that comes with an untimely death. The dark clouds loomed above like a spiritual ceiling and occasional claps of thunder jostled the mourning family. Because it was late summer, many people were on vacation. Many close friends and even a fair amount of the family were not there.
Pamela had already made the picnic and packed it into a wicker basket when the boys arrived. She'd cleaned the kitchen as well, been a thorough little domestic goddess with her mom and dad away for the week. And finally she had changed from jogging pants and T-shirt into her costume. Nothing outlandish, just a simple white-muslin dress and sandals, and then to the garden to pluck daisies and buttercups and ring them into a crown and a necklace.