My wife was out running the Peachtree Rod Race. And making good time.

My phone rang. It was my mother in law. She rarely calls me directly.

I answered the phone and she told me through her tears that Jim, her husband, had died.

I called Loren, still recovering at the finish line. I have terrible news, I say, your dad is gone.

When we’re all together we tell the kids, 6 and 3. They’re sad, especially Hadara, but they’re mostly upset that their perfect day of swimming and baking cookies and launching champagne poppers has gone out the window.

We pack not only for Pittsburgh but for our planned adventure to Alaska. Jim dreamed of going to Alaska but never got there. We’ll go for him.

Delta is helpful then not then helpful again. Hilton hotels are helpful then not and then helpful again.  The same with Alamo.

Peter and Karen stop by to check on us and play with the kids a bit. Lots of phone calls and texts as details come together.

We lnd, get picked up, and go to the house to hug Cathy and cry a bit.

14 hours later and we are now in Pittsburgh. She’s at the house and I’m at the hotel trying to get the kids to rest. They’re watching fireworks displays on TV. It’s the 4th of July.

Its hard to get beyond these simple descriptions. There’s much to say but the words aren’t yet formed. I’m trying to be mindful of what’s unfolding around and within me. And mostly I’m trying to be compassionate and present and attentive and aware.

Death

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