We located the spot, a clear patch along the bicycle path above the South Platte River that runs through Denver, Colorado. My youngest son and I laid a bouquet of sunflowers where Gregory had watched the baby ducks in the pool below, taken a deep breath, and swallowed the vial of cyanide picked up at his lab (he was a research chemist).

We had returned on the anniversary of his death, when Catholics celebrate St. Monica, the mother who prayed so long for the conversion of her son, St. Augustine. But Gregory suffered from an affliction that was part mental, and the rays of reason no longer reached him. He died valiant, as a true son of our family.

Human reason is not the highest reaches of our minds, but it is sometimes all that we have. We strive, and sometimes we reach, the higher realms. I turned to my youngest son. He showed, in his countenance, the confidence of a resolute mind.

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