I cannot tell you that despite the blessings of the year that will soon end, I feel blessed.
Yes, I'm still employed, I still own my home in good standing, I have some fine friends though I've lost a beloved girlfriend. I've apparently beaten the carcinoma that threatened me two years ago. I have lost the most precious thing in my life, my son and best friend, Alex. No amount of optimism or philosophy softens this fact. Nothing can make this year a blessing, even the World Series Win, unexpected joy that it was.
Alex was smarter than I, more independent and ambitious, likely to accomplish more than I. I admired him greatly, which I should have pointed out more often. His death was a shock I have not yet absorbed. A fatalistic attitude, often helpful in these regards, does not help the Father who has no other, not even a wife. No one can help.
On Wednesday/Thursday I will go to Oakhurst, where I'll be treated well, but I'll be a hollow shell. That's what I am now, and it is not a state of Grace.
I thank this Community for its understanding and support. I don't plan to go away, but it will be hard to summon the usual enthusiasm, as you may have noticed. There's no "New Normal" to be found, and I'm not prepared to take the drugs that completely flatten the line of emotions. So far, I've kept the emotive scenes out of my classroom. I would have been hard pressed to make it through my own medical problems easily (and it was pretty easy, though serious) without Alex.
I wish you could have all known him. Your own touch of his grace was in his writing, always giving and clever, but never cruel.