Summer Without Mark
I think most of us who live in a four-season setting treasure the summer months. Perhaps summer’s special place hearkens back to our formative years when the season meant no school. It’s certainly a time for outdoor activities and enjoying the natural world, all things that make us think about (and miss) Mark. Knowing we won’t be celebrating summer this year (and every year, hereafter) without him makes the summer of 2017 an especially difficult one as parents of Mark.
In a perfect world framed by the best intentions, updating donors and friends would be a priority. A newsletter, or a pithy email full of exciting projects supported by those generous and kind people who have contributed to the fund we began in honor of Mark and the things he cared about is something I intended to have done by now.
Of course, we haven’t been living in anything close to a perfect world since January 21 when he was killed.
As we enter August and what are known as “the dog days of August” in our northern reaches of New England, I’ve been stressing out about finally getting something newsworthy out to everyone. The writing or reporting out isn’t the issue, and there are certainly some really cool things that we’ve been able to jump into fairly quickly, while engaging with organizations and projects that are doing work that mattered to Mark. No, the issue is finding a format that doesn’t require a background in layout and design, a skill I often leveraged through Mark—he was very talented when it came to coming up with ideas, a logo, or even helping me develop and put together a book I was working on. Just another aspect of Mark’s talent and skill set that I’m learning to live without, along with all the other Mark things that are no longer available to us.
I won’t belabor the point other than to say that I’m a writer and I got stuck trying to find a newsletter format and a design template that allowed me to use my writing skills rather than fumbling, trying to find the perfect design and style. I think TinyLetter is what I was looking for. We’ll try it out for a bit and see how it feels.
For those of you who mainly want to know what we’ve been up to in terms of Mark’s fund, let’s jump right in. For others that know us and continue to be interested in how we’re coping with life without Mark, I’ve been writing regularly on my blog about the process of grief and things about Mark that I think might interest others. Like our trip to California this spring, journeying westward in Mark’s memory, finding some needed space and trying to bring some closure to a few things, including commemorating his first cross-country walk. Continue reading