There is a laugh Penn produces only for certain people. I just heard it. It comes from that place that only those connected to him by blood can elicit. I’ve also seen those unique moments of understanding between a mother and a son that she has raised primarily by herself. I was the third wheel, the awkwardly assembled sidecar. The Freudian sashay he and I have been engaged in has calmed, for sure, but I suspect the otherwise unnecessary enfilade fire will continue for some time. There have been many occasions I have wished he was my own in blood and not only in expedient fitness.*

Margot was the antidote to all of that tension. She was the glue that held everything together effortlessly. To her, this was reality, there was no reason to question it and those who did (through subconsciously actuated word or deed) were silly and their doings laughable. She adored every family member equally and in the perfect way their hearts desired. She had a smile specific to each one of us that could launch a trillion happy chemicals into our respective bloodstreams. She was a casual queen, the steward of emotional security, an ardent ambassador of all things good.

Part of this loss that effects all of us in this fragile family, more than all the things you might understand if you are a mother or a father or a brother, is the loss of this otherworldly angel that came down, far too briefly, and showed us that this was right, that we were ok, that it was all meant to be. Now we must attempt to soldier on, not only trying to cope with the absence of her presence, but with only the memory of those truths she spoke to us every day of her life.

I know we will make it, I know it as much as I know anything in my life. But I don’t know if we’ll ever have a living embodiment of those truths like we had in Margot.

* The other side of this coin is equally weighted: in our relationship, not literally born with expectations of mutual perspicacity, we are free to engage in our family building maneuvers as somewhat equal partners.

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