The family gathered this year here with us in Vancouver. Intimations of mortality occurred, but I’m still glad of the visitors.

The weather this late autumn has been beyond brutal: around 0ºC with 100% humidity, day after day, the fact that it’s snowing one day, raining the next, and on Christmas day an unpleasant mix of the two, well those are just details. You want to go outside, your feet will get wet and cold, suck it up and deal with it. “If we didn’t like this crap we wouldn’t have moved out here” is what we say.

Mortality · On top of which, a nasty stomach flu ripped through the family, only attaining 30% coverage but that was still pretty disruptive. And then a loved one a couple of timezones away seems to be slipping over the edge of the Alzheimer’s slope in a situation where we can’t easily, or even with difficulty, pitch in and help. To top things off, a cruel disease that won’t kill you but really fucks up your life leaned in where we thought it’d been cured, on Christmas Eve morning.

Sunshine · It broke out Christmas Eve around noon, so we loaded a van with everyone who wasn’t barfing or prostrate or on caregiver duty and went to the beach. Remarkably few other Vancouverites were there, given the rarity of light these last few weeks. One of them was determined to enjoy the rays to the max.

Kitsilano beach, Christmas Eve 2007

Come next year, most of us are still going to be alive and getting up in the morning and doing what we have to do. For now, snatch the rays of winter sun and the moments you get with the ones you love, because when those things are gone they don’t come back.



Contributions

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From: Derek K. Miller (Dec 27 2007, at 23:05)

Thanks Tim. There's been a bit too much mortality around in the past few days (a friend of mine, Benazir Bhutto, Oscar Peterson), so it's good to remind ourselves to take life as it comes.

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