And then with one thing or another, 18 years went by.

Have you ever been to the batting cages when the pitching machine was set just a little too fast for your abilities but only just a little? You could catch a piece of most of the balls but never have a chance to breath in between or reset yourself to hit a ball the proper way, so mostly you're just madly swatting them all away from your head to avoid a head injury.

Yeah, that's how life feels right now and for the past couple of years. 

There is so much going on to tell you.  So much in the world. In our home. In my thoughts.  And I just keep swatting the pitches away from my head, hoping that one day, some day, I'll have a moment to do it right.  And the truth is I don't see that moment coming any time soon because as soon as one ball is out of my periphery, three more are coming at my face.  I long for moments to sit and ponder. To meditate. Just to figure stuff out.  But they don't come and I just keep swinging, hoping I'm hitting at least some of those parenting fast balls right and fearing that I'm missing them all.

This year, you would be able to vote.  Not that there's a lot to be proud of being part of our country's political system these days.  I would be telling you what I've already told your sisters: I'm sorry. Sorry to hand this broken machine over to you and sorry that we didn't take care of it better.  We tried. Lord, how we tried.  And for so many years, it felt like we were actually making progress.  But now? Well, let's just say it is extremely difficult to feel hopeful.  I don't know how it got so out of control so fast.  It's not like I'm giving up, and I would be telling you what I keep telling myself, that I still believe there is more good in the world than bad, but oh how the bad seems to be the only one with the megaphone and the keys to the car right now.   It's damned disappointing, honestly.  I have faith that your generation can do amazing things and will be better caretakers of our rights and our safety than ours turned out to be.

Your sisters are amazing.  Not always easy to parent, but I imagine few strong willed, independent people were.  You'd be proud of them, but if their current relationship is any indication, you'd never admit it.  They are both capable, brilliant, hilarious, talented humans with endless potential.  Oh, they make me crazy, but even more so, I like them each an awful lot.  I love talking to them and laughing with them, and hearing their takes on things and I'm so proud of the people they are turning out to be, even if, or maybe especially because, it's not who I expected or would have designed had I had the chance.  

Sometimes I wonder about what parenting them would have been like had you been her to go through it with me first.  I sometimes imagine that you'd have all kinds of sage wisdom to pass down and then every conversation I have with them would be easier because of it.  You would have given me the magic words to say to make everything better for them, and totally have been on my side every time one of them and I have a disagreement, which is, let's face it, all fantasy, because life and people do not work that way, but there are just some days that are so hard and I want a mage on my side to wave a magic wand and make everything right. That's what people who are gone get to do when they die, become saints or superheroes.

These last couple of years have been more about loss than anything else.  I lost a good friend and coworker this year.  In fact, I just got back from his funeral today.   It's why I didn't manage to post this yesterday.  He was a good man that I worked with for over 20 years and never for a moment din't love an admire him.  I was not alone.  I think as his family goes on without him, his legend will grow as well and maybe he'll become more wise and more kind in their memory.   I think this tendency to aggrandize people after they die is just our way of trying to keep our good memories with us. 

Grief is the last act of love we can give to those we loved for when there is deep grief, there was deep love.