Dear Laura,
I have nothing prepared to write, but I woke up thinking of you. Today is your birthday, and Linz went down south to be with Dare and Cin. And you. To be with you. I have been thinking about you a lot, and I am sorry to say that my thoughts often turn to the unfairness of this year, the illness, the suddenness. I will work harder to drop the anger.

On Saturday, February 27th, I left the hospital with a reluctant feeling of despair. I had been fighting the despair for so long, but for some reason I could no longer resist. I gave in to the maddening. Helplessness. Anger. My windshield wipers whipped almost as furiously as my eyes blinked back the burning tears. I had been diligently praying and waiting for a miracle, and I was sick of being denied. I cursed. I talked to myself and my God, out loud, not caring what other afternoon drivers would think if they happened to look over. Sadness wrestled with rage for dominion.

Waves crashing
Uncle passing.
Laguna Beach, where he lived and loved.
We watched a slideshow
of photos old and new, healthy and sick,
and I leaned forward
to whisper into my cousins' ears,
"Your dad sure was a handsome man."
Handsome, generous, and funny.
Stablein funny.
We loved our Uncle Jeff.
The next day, with no way of knowing,
Grandma Betty asked if someone had died
And no one was telling her.
Then she asked specifically after Uncle Jeff,
The very next day!