It’s strange how you give the people you love so much power over you, I had written in my journal. But Shawn had more power over me than I could possibly have imagined. He had defined me to myself, and there’s no greater power than that.

If it was a cover-up, it was a very bad one. There had been media coverage, official inquiries, oversight. Wasn’t that the measure of a democracy?

This part of the story called for reverence. Mother and Grandma both loved to tell it but I liked Mother’s telling best. Her voice hushed in the right places. It was angels, she would say, a small tear falling to the corner of her smile. Your great-grandpa Lott sent them, and they carried Grandpa down the mountain.