My last blog post was Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving, just before I left to visit Kellogg for Thanksgiving.
Much has happened since Nov. 25 and I'll recap it briefly, with some elaboration in later posts.
I had a 5:35 flight out of Portland on Wednesday afternoon and I missed that flight. I grossly underestimated the volume of traffic on I-5 the day before Thanksgiving. It took me four hours to get to Portland, my flight had left, and so I drove to Kellogg and arrived around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday.
Thanksgiving dinner was relaxing, filled with the warmth and happiness of being with my mother and Silver Valley Girl's family.
But, nagging me, darkening the festive mood, was my knowing that the Deke was in Arlington Heights, IL, at her brother David's side, as he slipped closer and closer to death.
On Friday, I joined my high school buddies Ed, Jake, Mike, and Lars for our annual Thanksgiving weekend together. While at the Cd'A Casino, my phone rang, I slipped into a quiet area at the casino, and the Deke told me David died.
I continued my double life for the weekend, simultaneously enjoying my friends, winning at the slot machines, having a lot of good laughs, winning at poker, while grief slowly grew inside me.
On Sunday, it was a comfort to worship at Kaleo Church. It's the church my friend since early childhood, Carol, calls home. For much of the service, my mind wandered to Arlington Heights. I remembered David, thought about the Deke and all she was suffering, and did all I could to send silent support her way, hoping the spirit delivered.
After the service, I drove back to Eugene, another ten hour drive. I reflected. I prayed. I grew very tired.
From Monday through Friday, fatigue, grief, and concern for the Deke dominated my consciousness. The Deke returned home Tuesday night, about 10. She was exhausted. I was exhausted.
I got things done. I graded tons of papers. I tried to encourage my students. I shopped for groceries. I tried to help the Deke.
And now I'm back to writing again.