Early afternoon rain showered the procession of about five people dressed in black with ivory umbrellas. All five watched the wooden casket being lowered into the ground. Each cast a canna lily onto the rain-splattered wooden casket. Then Zackary Adams crouched down and scooped damp dirt into his hand. He reached over the hole and turned his hand to slowly sift the dirt into the grave. He watched it sprinkle down until the last clump dropped and sprayed across the pure petals of the lilies.
He rose as a bald older gentleman in a black coat and hat came up beside him and did the same. The scent of rain released the earthy aromas of disturbed soil and mowed grass. And then there was the sophisticated scent of an elderly woman who came closer to drop soil into the grave.
After everyone had contributed to the burial, the minister opened his Bible in proclaimed in a weak but confident voice, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."
He cleared his throat.
"And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
He closed the Bible. In a weary voice, he began to sing Amazing Grace and the mourners joined in.
After the service, three mourners returned to their car. Two remained to ponder the grave.
The younger man started with surprise when the elder sidled up to him and said, "Mr. Adams?"
"Zack," he answered and reached out his hand. The older man accepted and shook it.
"Caldwell Krane. I have been a butler at the Adams estate. I hear you might be moving in?"
"Yes, sir. I graduated with an engineering degree in Hawaii in June, so I am ready to put some roots down somewhere."
"I see," Caldwell Krane nodded. "Might you be in need of a butler?"
"Well, I can't see myself keeping up with that house," Zack smiled and put a hand on his shoulder. "I would be glad to have you, as long as you don't mind me paying you after I find a job up here."
"I understand completely, sir," the butler nodded. "Sea Cliff, New York is a long way from Hawaii."
"Thank you," Zack reached out to shake his hand again. "I will let you know when I am moving in. And remind me to ask you more about my grandfather."
"Will do, sir."