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Today

First of all, Happy Birthday, Liz. Sorry I've not talked to you today, but I've been busy.

Short version is, a relative I've never even met died recently, and the memorial service was today. So I woke up at four A.M. (after foolishly staying up till about one), downed two cups of coffee, drove to LAX with my family, got a Frappucino, boarded a Southwest flight, downed a Diet Coke, landed in Tucson, dropped off my bags, went to the service, mingled for a few hours, went to dinner (three Cokes and a cup of coffee), almost ended up in a poker game, and finally came back to the hotel. I'm totally wiped.

The woman who died left five grandchildren. One of them stood up today and held himself together long enough to nearly move the entire audience to tears. This eight-year-old kid told me more about (great-)Aunt Roberta than everybody else who spoke. It was only a few sentences, but he was so brave; if it was my grandmother, I doubt I could've strung two words together.

I told his father that; he seemed very proud of his son. The family is in surprisingly good spirits; everyone was joking and laughing at the dinner. From what I've heard, I suspect she'd have liked that.

Now to bed. Flight out of here at three tomorrow afternoon; with the time zones I'll land in LA at three-thirty.

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