Anniversaries are painful. This photo was given to me at Patt's celebration (by his wonderful half brother) and I couldn't keep from crying about the love in our faces. By Mr. Stargazer's hair, I can gauge that it was during that time when we thought he had been "cured" and might be OK, until the cancer came back with a vengeance several months later. I took some flowers up to the cemetery today, but there were still lots of them there, including new ones from someone mysterious. I make the trek to his niche for me though, not for him. He would think the fuss ridiculous and tell me to move on, don't waste my money, etc. I start to feel an urge to see his nameplate though; I need to remind myself of the reality, painful though it is. I kept very occupied this weekend with the retirement seminar(three more years after this one); it was alternately reassuring and terrifying. I don't want to bore you with details, but I found out lots about my investments(the differences between a Roth and a regular IRA, as well as a TSA/403b!),all about defined benefits, defined contributions, Social Security(which I already knew quite a lot about), health insurance, COLAs,etc. And I found out, not to my surprise, that teachers can be the worst audience ever! As a first born people pleaser, I'm always well-behaved, but others NOT SO MUCH. School drama is heating up as we get into spring and staffing numbers start coming in. It's when I really earn my pittance as department chair. I guess the anger and frustration will be distracting, right?