I didn’t mean to be gone for so long. I went away, physically, to visit my father. It was a short but good visit. He’s doing well, active mentally and physically. He does complain of having trouble getting through paperwork, and not being able to take time to work on projects he really wants to work on, and getting tired. Well, he’s in his 80s; you might expect some of this.

But I’m nearly 40 years younger than he is, and I have similar complaints. I have more trouble than usual managing my time, and deadlines just don’t seem urgent, and though I have interesting projects, it’s hard to get down to work on them.

I think we’re both still processing being without my mother, and I hope we may both start to feel more on top of things in a few months.

After I came back, I learned that a friend had suffered a family tragedy, a far worse one. Parents dying is in the order of things; but other losses seem horribly unnatural and wrong. And I realized a lot of my friends have lost friends or family members in the past year. In this case, misery does not love company. I keep thinking that as I get older, there will just be more and more of this. My grandmother outlived all her friends.

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