The idea that April is the cruelest month no longer works for me. August is now the real winner of that dubious sobriquet. I could point to many factors that have led me to feel this way but the only one that really matters is the death of my father. He died on August 24th at the age of 91. It was a beautiful day here in Seattle. The kind of day that makes you want to play hooky from work. The kind of day that makes you forget your worries. Full of sun and a slight breeze, that day had all the makings of a great vacation postcard. “Beautiful day, wish you were here.”

That morning I found myself on the beach at Golden Gardens with my daughter, Louisa. She and I had planned a little picnic and playtime together. I was looking forward to a cheerful, fun and relaxed day. And as luck or the universe would have it ,my cellphone rang just as a found the perfect parking space. The ensuing conversations were quick and confusing. My Dad had passed out and was on his way to the hospital. A mix of terror and dread washed through me. I struggled to get Lu out of the car, making sure we had all the trappings of a beach picnic – blanket, snacks, bucket, shovel and water bottle. Read More →