Anne glared at him into silence. "Because you're going off to college and you're all grown-ups now!" Anne explained. "Years from now you'll look back at this picture and be glad I took it!"
The talk had gone well, she thought. Brandi had cried, Sean had shrugged his shoulder, and the boys had all brushed it off. Sally had stood up and asked if she could use the phone.
Anne sighed and began to make dinner for this family reunion.
There were so many details to address following the death of Henry. Life insurance, taxes, death tax, capital gains, burial, funeral... it was exhaustive! Anne just wanted to sit down and cry, not spend all her time on the phone arranging things. To make matters worse, she wondered if she'd ever really loved him. Oh, she loved him because he was the father of her children and her dear husband, but over the years, they'd started to drift their own separate ways.
She'd been surprised to find that he'd left large amounts of money to women she'd never heard of. Anne wondered if she'd ever really known him at all. And all the paperwork that was required! What a headache! She was glad when she got a call from Mr. Downie offering his estate planning assistance.
Anne was flustered by the attention Mr. Downie paid her. She was sure she was imaging it all. After all, why would a young man like himself flirt with an old woman like her. But, it was nice to feel young and pretty again.
By the end of the hour, Mr. Downie was pressing her to sign some paperwork he had drafted. "It's not that I don't trust you," she hedged. "It's just that I'd like my son to look over it for me."
Mr. Downie led her to the couch and sat her down. Putting his arm around her and leaning in close, he said, "I know it can be a lot to look over. But, time is of the essence. The sooner all this paperwork is filed, the sooner that you're able to... continue..."
"Oh Mr. Downie," she started.
He interrupted her and winked, "You can call me Don. We've spent enough time together now. I like to say we're good friends..."
"Mom! What's going on?" Adam asked when he walked in the door.
Anne stood up to introduce the men. "Adam, this is Mr. Downie, an estate planner. He has some paperwork I'm going to fill out for your father's death."
Adam looked Don up and down and thought there was something slimy about him. "Did you call him or did he call you?" Adam asked.
"Oh, why he called me and offered his services!"
"Mom, he's like an ambulance chaser. Did you sign anything?"
Anne's hand fluttered to her chest. "Why, no! But, I wouldn't say that, Adam! Be nice!"
Adam held out his hand. "Show me the paperwork. I'll look it over and call you."
"Don't bother calling this house again," Adam warned.
Anne watched her son kick Don out of the house and sighed. She felt so old and incapable. She couldn't believe that Don had actually been looking to swindle her.
Adam knelt next to Mom and grabbed her hands. "Mom, let me deal with all the funeral arrangements, okay? Let me do this for you. The boys are growing up now and Michelle is pregnant again. We need all the help we can get with the kids!"