This morning I got two news-bearing emails from friends within about 90 minutes of each other.
The first was to let me know that an old friend's wife had given birth a couple days ago; which would normally be wonderful news, except that she was only at 25 weeks. Baby Esther has now made it through the first 72 hours, which I gather is a very good sign, but I also gather it's still a difficult and anxious (though also joyous) time.
The second, unrelated, was to let me know that another old friend's mother died yesterday morning, of cancer.
(That makes at least three of my college friends whose mothers have died this year.)
I was pretty much useless at work today. I sat through a couple of meetings, but I couldn't focus on anything all day. Around 5:00 I was walking back to my desk with a co-worker, and the big windows in all directions were filled with gathering dusk, and I said, "It must get dark this early every year at this time, but—" but then I couldn't think of how to end that sentence. She knew what I meant, though: "—it seems like it's darker than usual, doesn't it?" she said.
Kam's up in Portland, where the nights are longer and darker than here. I asked her, "Is winter going to last much longer?" She said just a few more days; after next Tuesday, the days will start getting longer again. I said, "That's not soon enough."
I'm pretty much ready for this year to be over.