I just got back last night from my weekend in Missouri memorializing my close friend, Jared, who passed away in February. My aunt, who is moving from the area this summer, picked me up from the airport when I arrived on Friday and we had an early dinner and reminisced about my grandparents and talked about lots of stuff. Then I headed to my hotel where I met up with my BFF, Chad, who made the trip from Chicago. We hung out at the bar that Jared managed and met some people he worked with and then hit the hay pretty early. The next day we met up with about eight other college friends who were close with Jared and we celebrated his life into the wee hours of the morning, which he would have loved. Sunday was the day of his actual memorial at the arts center where he was a big fixture, and it was moving and sad and lovely and I’m so glad I went.
Jared was a prolific amateur photographer and constantly took photos of his friends/ people in his life. At the memorial, his brothers had set up a couple tables full of photos they found in Jared’s house, and on the very top of one of the piles was a photo I knew existed but hadn’t seen in years. It’s the first picture ever taken of Simone and me, twenty years ago this summer, when she was just a few days old, just after she showed up at my doorstep looking for a home. When she died in October, I looked everywhere for this photo and couldn’t find it, so I was really happy to see it among Jared’s collection, displayed so I could easily spot it, a little parting gift from my friend.
Needless to say, I’ve totally neglected this site for a few days while I immersed myself in all the big feelings of the weekend, and now it’s going to take me a few days to catch up. I have a bunch of emails to read and respond to, and since there’s no school today and I’m on mom duty, it may take another day or two before I have a fresh post up. Thank you for your patience – especially during this past year in which I’ve had a lot of personal stuff needing my attention and affecting the time I’ve been able to devote here. Joanie starts full-time public school (universal pre-k for the win!) in September, and it will be the first time in eight years I will have five days a week again to work on my own projects and not have a small kid at home needing me (at least from 8-2, anyway). I’m looking forward to being able to re-priotize this space in my life, as well as some other writing I want to do.
In the meantime: how are you? What’s new in your life? What are your summer plans?