Epilogue from Blake  

  Blake, Jody, and Jeff at Jody's graduation from the Yale School of Nursing, May 2000. Photo: Wiltse. [Larger version]
Blake and Jody in Charlottesville, October 2001. Photo: Menger's mom. [Larger version]


  October 26, 2001

For me, the past two years have been full to overflowing with transition and additional upheaval, much of it self-induced. After Mom's death, I stayed in Gainesville for a few weeks with Dad. In late November I took Mom's old minivan and drove north towards Boston. I arrived in Boston and surrendered the car to Dad just before Christmas, after having driven through Virginia, Boston (yes), Des Moines, Los Angleles, and Santa Fe, among other places. I found the long drives and time to reflect therapeutic, and the circuitous route allowed for some wonderful visits with friends I hadn't seen in years.

From Boston, I later moved to Seattle, then to Gainesville, then to New Haven, then to Boston, then to Philadelphia, where I'm now living. This journey included a break-up with Meredith, my girlfriend of more than five years, periods of being gainfully and happily employed, and periods of being deliberately and happily unemployed. I weathered some rough stretches, and savored some delightful stretches, making new friends, spending time outdoors, living with few possessions, and appreciating having the time to think and write. I decided to go back to school.

So I now find myself in Philadelphia, in a master's program for computer and information technology at Penn. I'm enjoying the city, and mostly enjoying school. Mom's illness and death (as well as the frightful events on and since September 11) have helped me focus on what I feel is really important. Even if it means my grades will suffer, I'm making time for family visits (preparing for unclehood!), for sleep, for time with friends, for exercise, for other simple pleasures, and for trying to find a woman with whom I can spend the rest of my life.

Still missing Mom, but counting my blessings, chief among them the support I've received from loved ones. Peace.

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