Day 289, grief, flu shot, more

Tuesday, 9/17/2019

Last night I had a bit of grief flashback, which is lingering into the morning. It started when it came to mind how I’ve ghosted Katie. Backstory. Marian’s brother Emile had two sons, Paul and Mark. Mark is currently head of a radiology group at a Seattle hospital. Paul married Katie around 1998, and they opted to start a farm on San Juan Island, in Puget Sound. Marian and I visited them in 1999 while they were still camping out on the land — we helped construct a roof over the latrine in the woods! We visited the farm again and again over the years as they built a very nice house and developed a thriving organic produce farm. Marian loved the place and loved Paul and Katie, who returned the affection. She took great delight in helping them organize things, and in just doing routine household and garden work, and loved to interact with their son, Quinn.

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Marian spent many hours tidying the flower garden in front of the house.
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In 1999 Marian and Paul celebrate finishing the fencing around the property with this stile.

In 2015, Paul died of brain cancer, leaving Katie and Quinn to carry on. Quinn has since graduated high school and begun attending a small college in Southern California.

A year later, Katie was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers. We last visited in 2017, when Katie’s deficits were starting to show. Fortunately she and Paul had built up enough savings that Quinn is assured of money to finish school and, when the farm is eventually sold, Katie’s care will be secured for as long as she needs it.

Just after Marian’s death I got a very nice card from Katie, heartfelt but also showing  deficits in spelling and limited word choice that made clear that her alzheimer’s was advancing.

So the thought that intruded on me last night, not for the first time of course, was that “I really should communicate with Katie.” Or at least, check in with her friend Michelle who, last I knew, had shouldered the job of managing Katie’s affairs, hiring attendants to mind her and watching her finances. But when I really thought about doing that — I got a wave of emotion such as I haven’t had for months. And now while I write this. Marian loved that place and those people so much… I can’t ever go back there, I don’t want to think about it or them… but I feel a duty to make some kind of contact…

Well there were other things today. At 9am I went to the auditorium where a flu shot clinic had been set up, and got my flu shot. At 11am the Creative Writing group met. I’d been urged to participate. The exercise this was was to write something based on a list of words, which I did. Each of the eight attendees read out their creation. It was interesting to see how different people spun different paragraphs from the same words.

After that I spent an hour working on my YA novel. Then it was time to meet Scott for lunch, except he emailed to say that today President Trump was speaking just up the road from the Alpine Inn where we were to meet. He couldn’t exit 280 there, and I was stuck in stopped traffic on Alpine road. Via cell phone, after struggling with poor reception, we managed to redirect to another place.

In the afternoon I got an email saying that the new Schwab accounts were now set up, and when I log in to Schwab, I am now the proud owner of six (6) accounts. So I sat down and set up a new spreadsheet for tracking these. I had kept Marian’s spreadsheet updated for a few months (starting on Day 68, I see), but there would be such a massive change in the structure when the house closed, I stopped updating it. Now I’ll begin again, with initial values today and then when Schwab’s monthly statement intervals come around.

In the evening I watched the end of SYTYCD and a couple of other recorded items. The Ken Burns series on country music is piling up and I haven’t started it yet.

 

 

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