October 28th, 2014


Greetings from Los Angeles

I am preparing to leave California with the same wild mood swings that have characterized this entire week -- I want to stay, I want to make sure David and his kids are okay, I want to see the relatives I didn't manage to catch up with, I want a little more time in this stunning landscape to be able to enjoy it without finding it so sad. And at the same time I want to go home and hug my cats and talk to my kids and sleep in my own bed and get my own life in order.

We laid Molly to rest this morning after a brief service that was more formal than any other burial I've attended -- with my grandparents and people of their generation, it was less religious, more focused on the person to whom we were saying goodbye, though maybe that would have been harder for the children today. She is in a beautiful place full of trees and birds, facing the mountains. Her devout parents seemed the least shattered by it. I didn't know whether to be awed or jealous.

The kids seemed almost urgently to need toys and video games and normalcy afterward. Most of the people at the interment came back to the house for lunch, and afterward, while David's younger brother was leaving for the airport, we took him and the two boys to take care of a bunch of chores, including a trip to Walmart to look for Halloween costumes that turned into a protracted hunt for specific Legos. I feel like reality will only hit them in weeks or months when it's had time to sink in.

We had a quiet dinner during which apaulled and his father and brother half-watched the Washington-Dallas game while the rest of us did some research online about Kindle issues -- we got them a couple of games to put on the Kindle Fire but they don't work exactly the same way as on the iPhone, which was nearly a source of strife till we straightened it out. Eventually we had to say goodbye to them. By utter coincidence, my in-laws are on the same flight home as we are.

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