Do you ever find yourself faced with two pieces of news - one good, one bad - and realize you feel guilty about the good, even though it is totally unrelated to the bad? It's been one of those kinds of days.
My mom called this morning to tell me my uncle died. He is the first of the uncles and aunts to pass away; somehow, while you expect to lose grandparents, you assume everyone else will go on forever. He turned ninety on Friday, and had been living with emphysema for the last thirty years. A long haul truck driver, he smoked like a chimney for years.
While he was a big man, he always had little dogs. The first Trixie was a Miniature Pinscher - all the markings of a classic Doberman, but in a tiny size. The weekend would find Uncle Norb laying on the couch reading a weeks' worth of newspapers, with Trixie curled up on his chest. The second Trixie was a mutt: her body was roughly Dachshund shaped, but with the hair and face of some sort of wire-haired terrier. They were inseparable.
The funeral time hasn't been set yet; while their sons live here, their daughter is flying in from North Carolina and they will make arrangements once she is on hand.
Not even an hour after I talked to my mom, I had my regular weekly meeting with my boss. There have been some changes in the wind, though they've not yet been officially announced. I pushed him pretty hard before Christmas on a matter he clearly hadn't thought about when he initially discussed the changes with me. This morning I asked again, and discovered I had judged things perfectly when I pressed him; my request is going through basically untouched.
Good news, but it feels wrong, somehow, to be happy about that in the light of the other. Not that that makes any sense.
Anyway, off to bed. It's now several hours since I started this post; if the phone rings again I may very well smash it to bits.