he family had a favorite saying about Suzanne, Matthew Schüler’s oldest child; only three things could make her cry; bad news, good news and no news. When they said it in front of her, even after Suzanne turned thirty, she would sometimes break down. But on the day her father, the maestro, scholar, and famous man, died, Suzanne shed not one tear. She stood close enough to take his withered hand in hers, close enough to whisper something if she had wished… She watched her father die, said nothing, showed nothing and stayed calm. (Her sister Kaitlin was fine too, but she always was.)
“You okay?” husband Harold asked, having wrapped an arm around her shoulders.
“I’m great,” Suzanne said softly. And she really was. Well, maybe not great but certainly in control; certainly holding up better than most of the others. Mother pulled the bed sheet up over Matthew’s head and it was over. Someone led the new widow away. Harold dropped his arm. Suzanne supposed that he, probably all of them, expected poor Suzanne to start wailing then, rend her garments like one of the Old Testament prophets her father liked to sermonize about, then collapse.
“Yes, great,” she whispered, and the truth of it pleased her.Suzanne’s mom, who, like her oldest daughter, seemed in surprising good shape too.
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