I don't remember how this came about, but I got a job in a British vicarage, located in Lee Green, Kent. I was to look after a four-year old boy, named Stephen. The other members of the family were Mr. and Mrs. Smith, their daughter Janet and eldest son Robert. I believe they were around 12 and 10 years old at the time. Other family members were an orange cat, named Ginger, a rabbit named Biscuit, and a guinea pig that the kids gave to me. There was also a stout woman, named Mrs. Plummer, who came in and did the heavy housekeeping for the family. Mrs. Smith worked outside of the home and Mr. Smith, the vicar, worked at home. They were a wonderful, warm and caring family. The children welcomed me with open arms and I felt at home from the moment I arrived.
The kids and their pets.
Everest and I after a muddy ride.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Me and my Guinea pig.
The next morning, the call came. Mr. Jones had died, unexpectedly, the evening before. The vicar was in shock when he told me. He thanked me for insisting he talk to Mr. Jones, who had gone home afterwards and then had a fatal heart attack.
Much to his credit, the vicar owned up to this in church the following Sunday. Not to hiding in the coal bin, but to his own reluctance and my insistence on the day that Mr. Jones died.
I'm sure the vicar always remembered me and the lesson he learned that day.