Orlando Howe. I just got into work and picked up a voice mail from my mother. Her father, my grandfather, died yesterday at four o'clock. It was expected. He was 95 and had been suffering from increasingly bad Alzhiemer's for several years.

The funeral is next Saturday in Colorado. Grandma doesn't expect me to be there, Mom said. But I do. Seems wrong not to pay my respects—especially after not paying enough attention to that side of my family (the only significant extended family I have to speak of) over the last few years. I have 329 messages in my inbox, which I've been ignoring for a couple days, because I'm behind schedule on another project. And I'm leaving the country for two weeks on the 19th, before which I need to prepare how things will run smoothly without me (and, at some point, figure out what I'm going to say).

I guess no one ever said death was convenient.