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Weekend update

It was a very busy week and I didn’t have any time to work on this blog. Thankfully, I had three weeks of posts scheduled in advance. Now I’m down to two weeks. It’s good to have buffer.

At work, we are finishing a major release of our software. We’ve worked on it for about a year. I could write a series of posts about why it’s a terrible idea to do year-long projects in software development, but that would bore most of you. I’ll just say that I tried and failed to steer us away from this calamity. Fortunately, we have a new Chief Technology Officer and he agrees with me that this needs to be the last time we do this. We will work on releasing much smaller changes far more frequently. This will enhance our product’s quality and stability, and remove a great deal of stress from the team and from me.

I had to cram a lot into Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at work because I needed to be off Thursday and Friday. Thursday I spent the day helping my mom with a critical matter. I went to Fort Wayne on Saturday to say goodbye to my Aunt Suzanne. She was my mother’s brother’s wife, and she was 80 when she passed away. Readers with keen memories will remember when we said goodbye to her husband, my Uncle Richard, two years ago.

I hadn’t seen my cousins Patricia and Edward since their father’s funeral. Before that I hadn’t seen them since my grandmother died in 1987. I spent a lot of time with them while we were all growing up but not at all as adults. They were both very happy to see me, and it was good to honor their mom together.

Patricia implored me to stay in touch, and hoped we could all get together like we did back when. It would mean getting to know each other all over again after all these years. We’ve all led full adult lives over the last 35 years.

Now we come to the time when our parents are passing away. Patricia and Edward had their children later in life, so they’re not yet to the time, as Margaret and I are, of helping adult children into their adult lives. I think it’s harder today to transition to independence than it was in the late 1980s when I did it. Every single one of our seven children has had a much harder time with it than any of my peers back then. I think a couple of things are at play here. First, rents are a lot higher now, even adjusted for inflation. Second, it seems like the kinds of entry-level jobs available, college degree or no, just don’t pay like they used to — again, even adjusted for inflation. It’s meant several of our kids have lived at home well into their 20s. I love our kids, but I’m beyond ready to be empty nested.

I’m still struggling with low mood since Rana died. It’s incredibly frustrating to feel this way. Actually, I’m angry that her suicide has brought on this depression. My grief counselor noticed my anger and had me write a letter to Rana expressing it. I’m about 800 words in, and I have more to say that I haven’t written yet.

I’ve been checking in on Rana’s mom, my ex-wife, from time to time. This is the most I’ve interacted with her since our marriage ended. As I’ve written many times before, we had a terrible marriage and a destructive divorce. As the two children we had together became independent adults, I looked forward to never needing to interact with her again. But Rana’s death changed that. We shared the bulk of Rana’s childhood — we married when Rana was 9, and we separated just after Rana graduated high school. We will always have that connection. I’m not asking too many personal questions, because I think it’s best that we keep good boundaries — we are divorced for very good reasons. So I’ve kept it light, just asking how she’s holding up and empathizing with her grief. I hope it’s of comfort.

I did share with her these portraits I made of our sons in 2017. I shot these with my Nikon F2AS. I shot Damion on the left with a 50mm f/2 lens on Kodak T-Max 100, and Garrett on the right with a 135mm f/3.5 AI Nikkor lens on Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros.

Damion
Garrett

My ex was a professional photographer when she met, so I knew she would enjoy knowing the details of the camera and films. She replied that she used to favor Acros for portraits and weddings because of its warm tones.

She has been dealing with all of Rana’s material possessions, including the house Rana owned. It’s got to be cripplingly difficult to have to do that amid her grief, but she’s pushing through it. My hat is off to her, as all I have to do here is manage my feelings of grief.

My busy week has also meant I’ve had no time for photography. My Olympus OM-1 is back from repair and CLA — John Hermanson of Camtech Photo Services did great work and I recommend his service. I have some Fujicolor 200 in it right now and hope to have results to share with you soon.

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