I've been around, but I honestly haven't felt very chatty. Everything still feels very surreal to me and there's more stress on me than you can probably imagine with all the changes that have and are taking place. Dad and I have never been what you'd call "close" but it's been sorta thrust upon me and I'm trying really hard to fill as much of a void for him as I can when all I really want to do is curl up in a corner. I've not felt like doing much or being social--just ask Bast. We've talked every night at midnight for like 10 years and she's not seen me on line since all of this happened, though I have called her a few times. I just feel a real emptiness and my creative will and "friend" will is practically non-existent. Well, with the exception of my roommie and the occasional call to Bast. I just haven't had the will to even try and be open or talkative. So many apologies for that. But I have read your journals and know about the moves, money woes, family issues, vacations, frogs, The Shrub, Orlando's play (and all of you who are going--I'm really jealous and would give *anything* for a chance to get away), book woes, foot issues, new cats, and a whole lot of other things my brain is just to tired to remember right now. So I just wanted you all to know I've enjoyed your walls, pics and icons and hope your personal lives are happy, healthy and profitable. There's no way I can go back and pick up and comment where I left off, but know I'm thinking of you all and have really appreciated your support and kindness. I'm going to try my best to get back into the commenting mode in the upcoming days. Just thought I'd let you all know. And for those of you who wondered, the funeral SUCKED. That preacher my dad had SUCKS HARD and I wasn't the only one who thought so. The guy who did mom's makeup did a great job on her arms and hands, but honestly, it didn't even look like her in her face so that didn't help me either. I was told the best part of the service was the poem I asked the preacher to read and that was at the graveside! I was not at all pleased. It all feels very... off. I don't feel closure at all right now. Maybe that's just me in denial, but I don't really think so--not when I'm slapped with reality. Also, as mom was passing, that damned preacher stayed with us in mom's hospital room, yammering on and on in my one good ear. I'm not about religion at all, and especially not women preachers, but I held my tongue because dad, evidently, wanted her there. But it took everything I had to NOT make her leave the room. To me, that time should have been personal. But I suppose it doesn't matter what I wanted at all. For anyone who wonders, here's the poem I asked her to read at mom's graveside: Warm Summer Sun by Mark Twain Warm summer sun, Shine kindly here, Warm southern wind, Blow softly here. Green sod above, Lie light, lie light. Good night, dear heart, Good night, good night. And I'm beyond bummed that Bast is going to be close by here in a few weeks and it doesn't look like we'll get to see each other at all--something we haven't gotten to do in like 3 years. It makes me want to cry. I'll stop rambling now.