She asked me outright, “Have you thought perhaps she killed him?”
I think I stood across the counter from her staring blankly for a good minute.
My cousin stared back at me, unblinking.
I had just shared the story of my dad’s death last November.
Let me backtrack a bit.
My cousin and I were in our rental in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, planning to attend my half-brother’s wedding the next day.
I had picked her up in Kansas City at her airport hotel the day before. We’d passed a pleasant day driving down to Arkansas, getting lost more than once, and talking like we’d known each other a lifetime. In truth, we had just met face to face for the first time. She is my second cousin on my birth mother’s side. She is the match I contacted on Ancestry and the woman who put my birth story together for me. She probably should have been a detective. She is a slim, tiny woman with beautiful silver hair and a subtle quiver of energy about her. She just asked me if I thought my dad was murdered.
Possibly a little alarmed at my prolonged silence, she added, “I mean, I doubt he changed his will without some kind of encouragement, she was moving her kids and grandchildren in, she knew he was going to have the shoulder surgery. He wasn’t a young man, and that is a pretty complex surgical procedure.”
I had not thought of it that way.
It’s hard to remember, did we think of it at all that week or did someone voice it later?
He was dead and embalmed before I made it into the state. In retrospect, allowing that may have been a mistake. But it also may not have been avoidable. A wife, even a second wife, holds all the cards, I ‘ve learned, and learned, and learned again.
My dad’s second wife is an evil, grasping woman. Concerned that she be seen as a ‘good Mormon,’ she runs around declaring her right to everything my mother and father owned. Lord knows, I’ve been told enough times by my lawyer sister in law, that it’s true. She owns everything.
Fine, it can be true, but it will never be right.