Last night I was at a friend's daughter's wedding, this morning at a friend's father's funeral. Three dear friends of mine lost parents this past week. You hit a certain age, and this is what the landscape starts to look like, the odds tipped towards death. I understand. (But I don't have to like it.)
Everyone who died was quite old, in their eighties and nineties. They had rich, full lives, a long run, loving children and grandchildren by their side. These things are all good. These deaths are sad, not tragic. I know.
And yet, as a daughter who has lost a mother, I feel it all so keenly, the tears streaming down my cheeks for men and women I barely knew but whose daughters' hearts are currently breaking, as they now face the world motherless or fatherless for the rest of their lives.
Even the wedding was not free of minefields for me. It was a lovely affair, the bride in her 20s, our friends - her parents, so proud and happy. There was food and wine and dancing. After the hora, the DJ hit a nostalgia pocket, and when he dropped the needle on "In the mood" I suddenly fell to pieces, quietly sobbing on Danny's shoulder.
I had suddenly been transported back to my childhood,my mother teaching me to lindy-hop in the kitchen -- table pushed back against the egg-yolk yellow walls, kicking up our heels on the gray linoleum tiles, the cats looking on in bemusement from their warm perch atop the water-heater cabinet.
I loved and missed her so much right then.
It comes in waves like that, unexpected, never unprovoked, sometimes unwelcome, sometimes a gift. They are entwined, like that -- the loving and the missing.
And for now, I'll take it, since its all I've got.