Mrs. M’s father died last Thursday afternoon, and the burial was yesterday. He had been in seriously declining health since late spring, but it was still not entirely anticipated. He died peacefully at the age of 75, with his wife and one of his eight children in attendance, and he lived to see all eight of the children living self-sufficiently, many with wives and children of their own. That’s not a bad run. Enjoy your rest, Willie — you’ve earned it, and thanks for raising a terrific daughter (Well, eight good kids, but I’m partial to your eldest girl.).
In other news, as we were driving back to Mondoville this afternoon, I realized that one year ago today, my brother was convicted for the murder of my parents. Thursday will mark one year since the jury recommended his sentence, and he is now where he may well spend the remainder of his life. I haven’t spoken to Michael since before the trial, and barring something dramatic, I don’t anticipate that changing any time soon.
But of course, other things have changed over the year. We have a new home. The Spawn is in her final season of marching band. I’ve written a bit more, and I’m still wondering what my next act is going to be from time to time. And of course, now Willie has moved on to join my parents and those others who have gone before.
For years, I said that after the trial I would find out what the New Normal was going to be, and that then things might settle down. And I guess I’m doing that. But what I didn’t realize — even though I should have, really — is that the New Normal isn’t static, either. It doesn’t settle down, and so we can’t either, while we’re here. Smiles, tears, comings and goings, we live as participants rather than spectators.
Tonight in Mondoville, I’m OK with that.