In my email box this weekend is a note from Mike Wendell (and his family). He was one of my closest friends throughout high school, and we've kept in touch sporadically since then. The email was the sad sort. His dad died, pancreatic cancer. This is nasty stuff, and I'm both sorry to hear he had it, and glad that it is over for him. This is not the nicest way in the world to go.
I can still remember when my mom died. It actually came as something of a surprise to me, despite having received a lot of clues in the final months. I'm generally rotten about writing letters, and don't work too hard to keep in touch with family members. So when my dad called to let me know that she'd died, I was confused. Surely it couldn't have been that bad.
I flew back to Michigan, and Jean came with me. I was pretty stoic through the whole thing, and other than the somberness of the occasion, I didn't really feel anything. We flew home, unpacked, and I sat on the futon and cried. It just came out of me. And that was pretty much it. I think of my mom now and then, wonder what she'd think of Kelly, but I don't feel blue. She had a pretty full life and she was always busy, meeting every new stranger as a potential friend. No, she wasn't perfect, but she was very friendly and open, and so garrulous I should suspect that I was adopted.
So to Mike, whom I've written to separately in reply, I wish healing and a full life. I think his dad had some rough times, but I hope he had a lot of good times too.