The Balances of Life

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There are balances to life. That point was rammed home this weekend.Deb and I went to Atlanta on Saturday for my cousin Aimee’s wedding. This was as close to a family reunion as we were going to get (something Aimee and I tried to organize and abandoned after resistance form, of all places, the older generation). We were eager to reconnect with one and all and I even coaxed my brother, Neil, to attend.There was nothing scheduled during the day so I told Neil and my Mom that I wanted to head out to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack for barbecue. Well, Mom told her cousin Alan and he mentioned to someone and the next thing I knew, I had become the pack leader as some 20 of us headed out for lunch.As we neared it, someone asked about reservations and I explained, it’s a dive and they really don’t do that. Moments later we arrived and my mother’s jaw dropped because I had accurately described it. Still, they arranged a long table for us all and the staff was warm, welcoming and terrific. The food was cheap, plentiful and tasty. A success for all concerned.Much of the day was spent visiting with cousins, aunts, uncles and other relations, chatting away, catching up. We did grab a nap before dressing for the evening event since we had gotten up at 4:30 to make the flight.The wedding and reception was held at the Atlanta Historic Center and we were given free reign over the place. The ceremony was lovely; one of the most personalized I’ve experienced and touching. During the cocktail hour I ducked into the Civil War and Ben Franklin exhibits for quick walk-throughs, which was most impressive. The reception was buffet, Tuscan-style food and a live band that didn’t quite measure up to the rest of the affair. By evening’s end we finally got to meet Giovanni, the groom.Sunday morning featured a private brunch for all the wedding guests at the hotel so we could finish catching up and relax with the happy couple before we all drifted away in clusters.Our flight home was uneventful but once we got to the house, the balance was struck. We got word of a death in the family, which has tipped over a set of dominoes for all four of us. First and foremost, we had to withdraw from Shore Leave, missing it for the first time since Shore Leave 4, 25 years ago. Fortunately, my ComicMix buddy Glenn Hauman is filling in.We’ll be in Florida with family from Wednesday through Sunday so I’ll be largely silent. Be good to yourselves until I return.

9 thoughts on “The Balances of Life

  1. We heard the news through the grapevine yesterday. Our deepest sympathies to you & your family. Shoreleave will not be the same without you, and you’ll be in our thoughts often.The Olesen Family

  2. My deepest sympathies to you all. May you find some peace in happy memories.We’ll miss you at Shoreleave, it won’t be the same without you!

  3. Bob…Most sincere and heartfelt condolances, my old friend. I feel for you and your family, and Julie and I will certainly miss you. It won’t be a fun con without you. Take care of you and yours and though it’s for a sorrowful reason, have a pleasantly safe journey. May the road rise up to meet you.Bob Ahrens”Guid forder!”

  4. Bob, I was so saddened to hear about this.You and your family have my deepest condolences. I’ll miss you at Shore Leave and will be thinking about you. Have a safe trip and take Care.Mary

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