By the time I was seven, I had younger brother and sister who easily made up for any sense of missing family members. Our lives were quite busy and full.
Mom and Dad stayed near the grave, pulling weeds and arranging flowers. Later, I wandered back to see if it was safe to get near them without suffering my mother’s wrath. As I came out of the thicket, I saw their backs were turned to me, surprised to see my father’s arm around my mother’s shoulder, I couldn’t remember ever seeing any show of affection between them. I stopped in my tracks, curious. Then, I noticed my mother’s shaking shoulders. She was sobbing bitterly. I wondered if she was feeling bad about the way she had treated us kids earlier. I sorely needed an apology or at least a kind word. I wanted to feel forgiving toward her. My Dad glanced back and saw me. Alarmed, I whispered, “What’s wrong?”
Mom, ignoring me, broke away from Dad and walked away, studiously pretending to look at some other dead person’s gravestone. Dad came toward me, blocking my view of her, and answered, “Your mother is crying for Baby Lee, because he died and she doesn’t have him here with us.”