It is the postswim, predinner hour, and the smallest members of the clan are restless. Inside my parents' house, I can hear my two oldest nephews bickering over a game of Go Fish.
"You can't put that there, Alex."
"Michael! Quit it!"
Outside on the deck, I smoke a cigarette on a chaise lounge beside my sister Ann and sister-in-law Candace, watching the distant nightlights shimmer against the dark folds of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. I am fine, certainly far better than I was a year earlier when I'd arrived for my family's 1993 annual reunion reeling from a doctor's...