winter benchWe arrived home from Alabama on Monday, a week earlier than planned, due to the rapidly failing health of my husband’s youngest two siblings. Although we recognize mortality as our lot, confronting transience in those we love is indescribably painful.

Before we headed south, we had the good fortune of participating in a family gathering at which all five siblings were present. K attended with us and, dealing with chronic anxiety as autistics do, he was understandably upset in anticipation of the event.

“It’s hellish that they’re dying,” he said beforehand. Still he wanted to go, and he handled himself well on that bitter sweet occasion.

Then, when we made the decision to leave Alabama early, he readily agreed that it was the right thing to do. Now that we are home, we allow ourselves to be swept along in the routine of normal days: unpacking and cleaning the motor home, washing bedding and laundry, sorting mail, paying bills.

K is clearly relieved to be busy with painting and other activities. Yesterday his assistant brought her charming blonde toddler to entertain him for a while. Later, our grandsons dropped by on their way to Tai Kwon Do. It was reassuring to see them again and I hugged them gratefully.

As a further distraction from grief, I finalized editing on The Dúns which is being proofed by Janet, and as soon as our fax cooperates, I will send the manuscript’s map requested by copy editor, Marie.  Eventually I will return to Prosper Station to immerse myself in the consolation of writing.

Outside the winter’s cold persists and fresh snow blankets the garden. It is not yet time for Spring.