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She likes my journal !!

They have better beds on the A ward.

Going away lunch in Jack London Square.

August 31st, 2000

Bring The Cameras
Things have been hectic these last few days. Tomorrow morning I'm flying to Portland and then driving up to Seattle with my mother, sister and my sister's family to attend the funeral of my aunt Vivienne, who died last week. I will be returning Monday and I don't plan to write or shoot photographs. I'm not sure what I plan. This was coming in the sense that this is coming for all of us, old or young, but I am not sure I've understood yet what this will mean emotionally. I'm not sure I want to know. She leaves behind two sons, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren, not to mention a sister, assorted nieces and nephews (of which I am one) and a lot of friends. A lot of friends. Last Saturday I went out and bought a proper suit; a suit, shirt, tie, shoes, socks and suspenders and I plan to fly first class so I can get properly dressed and drunk.

I just dropped off Mr. Wuss for boarding at the vet's. Come home, take down the carrying cage, Wuss scoots under the desk, go to the kitchen and take down a can of the prescription cat food, Wuss comes into the kitchen to wait beside his dish, pick Wuss up and whisk him off to some (comfortable, one hopes) cage in a building near my old Rockridge residence. He is worried but not too upset, he rubs his head against my fingers when I poke them through the cage. He still looks wrung out, although he's been eating pretty well now for some time. He's not the old Wuss anymore and maybe he never will be again. Getting old. I'd rather not leave him.

So, four days over a holiday weekend, time enough to circle the wagons, hold old hands and count MSP at lunch. the noses of the living. Noses we've known for all of our lives. Time for us to wish our aunt Vivienne goodbye and to take stock: Where we are, where we're going and what will inevitably come. Odd, but the dying part seems the easiest. Vivienne, if she had anything, had a good life, not only by society's rules and the rules of her generation, but a good life by most anyone's personal standards, the standards we honor when we ask ourselves honestly what we're doing and what we've done. Not easy, she outlived her husband and two sons, but good. A good life and a clean death, alive and active to the very last. How many lives can say that? Our lives? What can we say about them?

Time to stop. I've packed. Yes, I'll bring the cameras, but I always bring the cameras.

The banner photograph was taken at a going away lunch at T.G.I. Friday's in Jack London Square. The second photo was also taken at lunch. I am a lunchtime photographer. The quote under The Sole Proprietor title is by Seneca who undoubtedly first uttered it in Latin.