September 14, 2011

Carters - Round 8

After Anne's talk with Jansen, she'd been feeling the desire to sit everyone down and talk to them.  She knew she couldn't begin to make up for the lost years, but she could begin by letting them know she was sorry.

 "Why do we need a dumb family picture?" Danny complained.

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.

It wasn't long before it was time for Danny to go off to college.  Anne blew her nose on her handkerchief and watched as the cab took him away.  "Don't worry, Mom," Adam said as he slung his arm around her shoulder.  "He'll be back before no time!"

And my how fast time went by! Already her grandbabies were toddlers, Anne though. And how cute they were!  Anne was glad that Adam and Michelle had moved back in with them so that she could spend more time with them!  It was amazing the difference a lifetime could make! When she'd been raising her kids, they didn't have money or space for all the things she wanted and as a result had always felt like a failure.  But, now! She got to coddle the kids and didn't have to worry about the dishes or cleaning.

And she loved teaching them new skills.  Guiltily, she wished she'd been able to spend this much time with her own kids.  Maybe they would visit more if she had.

But how proud she was of each and every single one of them. Why, just the other day Adam came home and had told her about his reward for reaching the top of his career.  She couldn't wait for Henry to come home so that they could toast to the new top architect!

 Henry never made it inside though.  He'd stepped out of his carpool and passed away on the front lawn.  As Anne held him, his last words were, "grass skirt..."

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.

 "I'm so glad you've agreed to look things over for me," she told Mr. Downie.  "I've just gotten so bogged down and I feel like I don't understand anything I read."

Mr. Downie patted her hand.  "I can assure you that I'll look over everything and have all your paperwork in order by this afternoon.  Now, tell me about the estate..."

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..."

Anne blushed.

"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 puffed out his chest, indignant.  "Why, you're being quite rude.  Anne, it was lovely to meet you," Don said as he started to stuff papers in his briefcase.  "But, I can tell you that I cannot work with you if your family is not supportive.  When you're ready, please give me a call."

"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!"

Reeds - Round 8               Carters - Round 9


  1. For a moment I feared Anne would be Don's victim! Good job, Adam!

  2. We can all only hope that we have children that will look out for us when we get cloudy in our old age.

  3. Whew! I'm glad Adam came in. I was very worried when Anne let Don look over the paperwork.


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