April Showers

I have said my farewells to my eldest daughter and her lovely husband, as well as our German exchange student daughter (from 2011) and their friend from New York, all gone from here yesterday and flying out of SFO today and tomorrow. The house is quiet and empty. It is good to feel I can get to work again, and start to plant my tomatoes and lavender, and hear my own thoughts. I did a yoga routine this morning, first time since my surgery in January. I’m throwing sheets into the wash, filling the dishwasher full with the last of our last supper dishes, making a shopping list, thinking about what to do next. My mind has been so full of the immediate, the moments we were in, and I haven’t looked forward a bit. Time to restretch that muscle and see what I have on my new to-do list.

We took the month of April to brave the rain and the miles of travel and gathered to say farewell, at last, to our late son Austin. M & L came from Australia, F came from Germany, J came from Maryland, C came from New York, E&E came by train from Shasta. We met at the seaside–or rather, bayside, in Alameda, to sprinkle ashes and write Austin’s name in the sand, before the waves washed him away. The following photos are some of how we said farewell.

On the shore of San Francisco Bay
Two people in jackets and jeans, seen from behind, crouch at the edge of the bay.
Scattering ashes in San Francisco Bay
Orange fingers from eating Flamin' Hot Cheetos
Eating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in Austin’s memory
Two white-skinned arms displaying new tattoos, one of a heart and one of an ampersand.
Memorial tattoos: Forever Five and Ampersand/Heart.
WHite-skinned baby sits on grass amid red tulips.
A visit with Austin’s namesake.
Blurred view down a long, full table in a restaurant.
Drinks and dinners with family and friends.
Running shoes, scattered petals on the sidewalk.
Many long walks.
Blurry photo of people waving lit sparklers at night.
A final farewell with lit sparklers.

And that says it all.

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