I have my feet up, after making a turkey sausage/green pepper/onion lasagna plus a batch of cauliflower chowder.  Both are chilling in the fridge, ready to be re-heated for the week’s dinners.  All of the boys have had lunch, and the big boys are watching tv in the other room.  The baby is upstairs in his crib.  The Professor is sleeping on the couch, resting from his very early flight home.  He has been in a lovely little northeast city these past few days, laying his grandfather to rest in the cemetery of a little stone church in Pennsylvania.

Two days after Lachlan’s passing, we received the news that the Professor’s grandfather had passed away after a short illness, and luckily we were able to get the Professor north in time for his celebration of life.  They also celebrated the Professor’s aunt, who passed away last Halloween, and whose memorial service was already scheduled for this spring.  An act of hope – planning the service for spring, when flowers are blooming.  The Professor has been gone a few days, and just got home – exhausted, trying to rest and assimilate the weekend’s experiences.  Life is a little dimmer now, and will be for a long while.

We’re all tired.  Will there come a time in life when I’m not tired?  So goes the lament of every parent of multiple young children.  Pulled in a million directions.  Trying to enjoy moments with our young ones even as they bury us in the drudgery of all the work they generate.   I do love them so, though.  They are a comfort in a season of loss.  But I carry the weight of them, heavy these days.

I received a few private notes from readers after my last post, which I greatly appreciate, although the grief I feel is more the ghost of grief – empathy and (as a friend and I discussed) more than a little survivor guilt.  I hate to draw any kind of sympathy away from where it truly belongs – with the grieving immediately families.  But, you know, I cared about these people and I wanted them to live, and live well.  So though I feel silly, I will accept your sweet support. I have no claim to real deep and abiding sorrow, but these losses have made me sad anyway, and so I appreciate your being kind to me.  The internet is not always a kind place, but this place is, and I am thankful.

Meanwhile, spring.   My sister is planning a wedding for next spring.  A dear friend at work is welcoming a new baby in the fall – a little girl.  I look forward to their happiness as if it were my own.

Once the Professor wakes up, we will welcome some new friends over for afternoon cocktails, a nice friendly and distracting chat.  Their kids and ours will play in the backyard on the swing set, while we drink white wine and talk about vacations and news and schools.  Craig will wake up and play with his baby friend Bryce, whose hair is a white-blond as Jack’s used to be.  I am off to sweep the porch, fill an ice bucket, slice some berries into a fresh fruit salad and arrange crudités around a little pot of hummus.  I’ve been humming an old hymn today . . . Gathering together, it’s such a nice thought.  Friends as a bastion against the dark curling fingers of sorrow.  Much love to you all – better days are coming.

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

 We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free! 

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