Published by Rick Ready at Smashwords
Copyright 2011 Rick Ready
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The June sun climbed toward its zenith, the heat having already dried the morning dew. Sweat beads rolled down my face, and the white shirt I was wearing clung to my back as I attended the first family reunion we’d had in six years. My emotions surprised me: anticipation and joy at seeing them all again, and sadness at why we were getting together.
I’d parked less than twenty feet from the gravesite so Dad wouldn’t have to walk to bury his sister. He’d broken his right foot six weeks before, and at eighty-four he didn’t heal as fast as he used to. This way he could sit in the van and still observe the service. We were the first to arrive, and the cemetery attendants finished laying the green tarp over the mound of red-and-brown dirt at the foot of the grave before walking off to wait in the shade of two massive oaks about fifty yards away. I opened all the windows and Dad's door so he could swivel around in the seat and be comfortable. He turned and placed the cast on the ground while keeping his good leg propped against the doorframe. Minutes later a slight breeze kicked up and the hearse from the funeral home arrived. I saw Dad lower his head, and I suspected he was saying a private goodbye to his sister.