On the plane, headed home.

When I pictured yesterday as one of the worst days of my life, I was forgetting something I learned last summer; the midst of the dying isn’t actually that bad a place to be. There’s so much to do there: food and movement and holding hands, trying to distract and making sure the kids are busy and checking on the laundry. When a trip to the bathroom is a twenty minute plus expedition and a meal takes a hour and people are coming and going, there’s not a lot of room for grief.

It’s only in the cracks in between, in the small spaces when folding clothes fresh and warm from the dryer and the thought strikes that the socks will never be worn again, that’s when it’s bad.

We took Michelle to Gloucester. I was purely scared about the garage steps, steep and wooden with gaps, but it worked. We ate pastrami sandwiches and while Michelle slept and Chris and Linda tried to work out a schedule for her care, I took Finn and his friend Brennan to the “big sandbox” and then the beach.

I found a perfect sand dollar, unbroken, with the five-petaled flower clear and beautiful,
and I left it there in the sand.