So, here’s something I don’t market about myself: I write obituaries. I don’t talk about it, because I don’t like writing them. The sensitivity required to write a story worthy of a family’s loved one is daunting, draining, exhausting, sad, emotional, and I cry a lot, even when I didn’t know the person. So, when it came time to write an obituary for my favorite person in the whole world, I was surprised that I got through it without crying. I mean, in fairness, I had cried nonstop for a week prior to writing (and almost every day since), so maybe my tear tank was empty. After a long absence caring for my mom, I am back now and learning who Gayle’s grieving daughter really is. I am bouncing back, that’s for sure, but grief takes time, especially when the one you’re grieving was so much the matriarch of the family. She was so loved and involved in every second of our lives; she never missed anything. Her FaceTime calls were almost as good as her screwdrivers or BLT sandwiches. Her absence leaves me as the family matriarch now — and at 52, I wasn’t really prepared to have that role yet. But she’s finally with my dad in Heaven, where she wanted to be, and I know she’s delighting in her new home. As for her only daughter, I’ll find my way. It’s best to keep busy, so send your projects this way. And if you want to read her obituary, I’ll link it below. God bless you in the new year. xo ~d.