Life has returned to its semblance of normality, with the kids generally happy and well, along with Lynn and I. A few bumps along the way, but nothing like April. No antibiotics are currently in use in the house, no fevers, and I must go knock some wood.It's been a month since my mom died, four weeks ago today, and the fact that life seems normal belies how well people cope with huge change and loss. I have had a lot of conversations with friends, colleagues, people I barely know about my loss and theirs. So many people I know lost their mother or father or both when they were young, or when their parents had barely reached middle age. I picked up mom's ashes from the funeral home last week, and it was a very odd thing to drive around with the carbon atoms and other minerals that represent a part of mom's bio-mass. I found it kind of reassuring to have some part of her, which isn't that odd, than if she'd been lowered into the ground somewhere. We're material beings. Her carbon started in the heart of a star, like all of ours; some of her self is still with us, and I like that. The best news I have is that Lynn's folks arrive this week to take up residence about 30 to 45 minutes away. They didn't want to be right in the heart of a city, even one as poky as Seattle, and they found a nice adult living place both close enough and far enough away. I'm so looking forward to them being here. My dad is on the other side of a divide, in Port Townsend, with the Hood Canal Bridge having parts replaced (long overdue), and thus requiring one of several workarounds to get to Seattle. (Ferry from PT to Keystone, drive Keystone to Langley, ferry from Langley to Mukilteo, then a drive down I-5; drive to a parking lot, take a shuttle to a passenger ferry over the Hood Canal, then a bus to a ferry, like Kingston or Winslow; or you can drive 3+ hours around most of Puget Sound!) He's been having a variety of things attack his body, but fortunately getting better, and his plan is to come see us soon. When the bridge is back up, we'll take the boys over there, too. This last weekend, my brother-in-law, Michael, and his fiancée, Kathy, were up to visit. We saw the Red Sox lose in a somewhat sloppily played game yesterday that was nonetheless highly enjoyable. (He's a Red Sox fan, and is trying to get our boys on board with that, which is fine with me. I have no team. The Mariners have never struck me as awe-worthy.) The two of them asked me to officiate at their wedding this fall, which is about the biggest honor I have ever had bestowed. I can't think of anything in my life that feels like a bigger gift than being asked to join them together. I told them it made my month, and it's true. I read about other people's lives, people who travel the globe or scale mountains or deal with incredible highs and lows or celebrities and the super-rich with dozens of homes...and all I long for right now is just what I have: some peace and quiet, family, a calm life.