Man Plans. God Laughs.

by Elana Roth Parker in


I really think it's tacky to announce a lot of life's major events and milestones on Twitter or Facebook. Like, if I ever tell you I'm pregnant that way, I should be banned from ever touching a keyboard again.

Likewise, I think it's pretty unfortunate to see status updates about people who have died. And I kind of cringe at all the "my prayers are with you" messages that pop-up. The intentions are there, and I appreciate that, but they are usually riddled with emoticons and/or spelling that hurts me.

But in this day and age where a good chunk of my connection with people, including some of my closest friends, happens in those forums, I can't really avoid it. Though there's probably a better way of making those announcements than I've yet to come up with.

All this is to say that life is fucked up. And weird. And stuff always happens at the same time. And there's no good way of telling people. Hence this blog post. Here's this week:

  • My sister's wedding invitations went out, and I helped write the announcement that will hopefully make it into the New York Times. (This will be hilarious.)
  • My step-aunt died yesterday at age 68.
  • My grandfather (other side of the family) turns 92 today.

Saba, just a few weeks ago, with my brother Reuben. It's strange how these things happen in close proximity, and in such stark contrast. Almost as if someone (God?) is making a point. Not that I'm so up on God these days.

Example: one of the first things my sister said to me when we got the news about Aunt Mary Jo was, "Oh, E, the wedding invitation will show up at her house tomorrow."

Yeah, funny, huh?

But...it's life.

And even when bad things happen, that's just how it goes. It's better to concentrate on the good stuff, like 92nd birthdays and weddings. And even just remembering a really cool lady, who was really happy to add more nieces to her brood when my mom married her brother. And thinking about how happy she'd be to get that invitation.

Mary Jo and her son Matt at his wedding.So, here's to the good stuff.

Saba, here's to you. 92 and still going strong. You kick ass. And won't approve of my language, but probably won't see this anyway. (Unless someone shows it to you. Please don't do that, family.) But just know that I'm smiling like you always give me a hard time about.

And here's to you, Aunt Mary Jo. You always had the funniest, under-the-radar, sarcastic lines at family meals. And you understood more than anyone that family has absolutely nothing to do with genetics. I'll miss you.