R graduated from high school today. Go, R, go.

For various perfectly reasonable reasons, no one except me could make it to the ceremony. I’m pretty good at solitude, but it’s profoundly lonely to celebrate a milestone in isolation, to sit by yourself in the audience and applaud, and not have anyone to turn to and say, “oh, doesn’t he look good,” and “oh, look, he’s trying not to laugh” and just… not be able to share the normal stuff that people share.

And I was sad.

But then, for the first time since she died, I felt such a profound sense of my mom being with me. I could truly almost hear her saying, “Don’t be stupid, of course I wouldn’t miss this, I’m so proud of you both.”

And then, behind her, Malcolm, saying, “Stuff and nonsense. Don’t be silly.”

This Memorial Day, I am thinking of my mom, who I love and miss. Of Malcolm, who I love and miss. Of Michelle, who I love and miss. Of my grandparents and my great-grandmother. Of Marjorie. Of Leslie. Of Luis and Judith and Mindy. Of Denice and Margaret and Jan, who all died so much too young.

I know it’s the military that we’re supposed to be acknowledging, so kudos to my grandpa who went to Japan. And as many kudos to my grandmother who stayed at home, alone with an infant, fuming about how he’d enlisted when he didn’t have to.

But I remember them all and miss them all.

PS I’m writing a very depressing Tassamara story. It’s a wonderful outlet for tears, but I’m not sure what I should do with it when I’m done. Post it here? Mail it out? Bury it forever? Do you want to read about the reception after Dillon’s memorial service?