One of my children made a choice to go away for what should have been a long time. Before he left, we had a leftover dinner party. He did not want to make a big deal out of it. I set the table with a small bouquet of mixed flowers. He left and not soon after a frantic call came. Something was wrong. Plans had changed. He was coming home. The small bouquet had been sitting on the table as vibrant as can be for an oddly long time. Last night he came home. This morning, the flowers died.