Nathaniel returned to the graveside late that same night. “I’m so sorry,” he whispered. “I… will always love you. I’ll watch over our boys, even if they never see me – never know I’m there. I’ll watch over them, just as I watched over you. Good-bye Margery. Some day we’ll see each other again.” He stood and silently left a bouquet of flowers on the top of the headstone before disappearing into the night.

Emery slipped out of the boisterous inn where the townsfolk had gathered to reminisce about his mother. He made his way over to the graveside without really meaning to. Looking down at the hard stone that proclaimed his mother’s name, birth date and exact age at death a sob caught in his throat. Throughout the funeral, he had cried silently, restraining himself in the face of his brother’s inconsolable grief. Now he let the tears fall and gave voice to his pent up grief.

He was chilled from the night air by the time his grief had worn itself out. Aching and tired, he pushed himself to his feet. Only then did he spot the bouquet of bluestars, the flower his mother loved so much. He remembered his father giving them to her for every holiday – even Christmas, though they were expensive when not in season.

“Good-bye,” he said, not truly knowing which parent the salutation was meant for as he walked away from the silent stone.