The day before, I arrived in Boston (stopping to see Nancy en route in Minneapolis), had a fun date with treacle_well, and picked up cyan_blue and David and Kevin (they were on a later flight… nearly missed their connection at PHL) and drove to our hotel in Braintree. Except they gave away our guaranteed late-arrival room, so at 1am we were sent to a different hotel who wasn't expecting us (aside: Hampton Inn scrapes, Holiday Inn Express wins).
Anyway, back to yesterday… after 4 hours sleep, we were fighting I-93 traffic headed to pick up patgreene at Logan airport (redeye flight), and my mother called… to ask us to cancel her flight set for an hour later, headed to a family reunion… because my father couldn't talk. Couldn't communicate… my brother was headed over to pick her up to go to ATL, instead they took my dad to the ER.
He had had a mild stroke, resulting in expressive aphasia. Had it happened 30 min later, my mother would have been en route to the airport, and he would have been alone the rest of the day. We will find out in a couple of days if it is temporary or longer-lasting. I felt helpless and had to just let go, since I could not influence events.
Instead, Pat and Geri headed back to the hotel, after dropping Kevin and I at MIT for an admissions office briefing and campus tour. It was nostalgic for me… and I could point out locations and landmarks that were personally significant to me or Pat. And note all of the development in East Campus towards Kendall Square. Kevin was excited at the environment, the hacks, the encouragement to poke at things. I was contemplative of handing off an experience that was mine… to the next generation, for whom it will be special and different than my 1980s experience. Overlaid by memories of my father, who had brought me up to Boston for the first time by train as an entering freshman.
We later wandered up for a similar briefing and afternoon tour at Harvard… it was friendlier than I expected, and I'd never walked across Harvard Yard. Fun, and Kevin was likewise but differently excited, but without the multi-generational overtones.
And we capped the day with dropping by noire's office at MIT, traipsing over to the Friendly Toast for a lively dinner with Pat, Geri, both boys and herself. Followed by driving to the North End for cannoli before we returned to the hotel.
Today… headed west to Amherst, where my oldest son James graduates tomorrow from Hampshire College. With memories of my parents at my graduation… it doesn't seem like that long ago. More generational juxtaposition...