There’s plenty to worry about with technology, but one thing that always delights is Google Photos sending me reminders of the past.

Earlier this month we scattered my dad’s ashes at the Berkeley Marina. We picked the spot because my son remembered how much grandpa loved flying kites there. A week or two later, I get a reminder from Google Photos 9 years ago, and there we are: my daughter proudly, intently holding the spool of string while she, Dad and I stare out of the frame at the flying kite. My son watches the three of us. The kite’s fun, but it’s the people he’s seeing.

When we decided where we wanted to remember Dad, I’d meant to go back and find some of the kite-flying photos, maybe print one out for us as we said our goodbyes 15 months after his passing, but of course I never did it. I’m pretty sure this was the one and only time we flew a kite with Grandpa, though I love how the memory spread and repeated to the point that my son recalled it as a favorite pastime. And now of course, with Dad’s remains there along the bay, we’ll always think of Dad in that spot, eyes up, kite in the wind. It’s comforting, remembering a time he was more fully present, before his last years when dementia took him so far away.

I guess our small ceremony is one more way we’re emerging from what Jay tells me will be called the Covid Era. It definitely feels like it’s lasted an Age, and isn’t done yet. Thankfully the kids are at school full time, coming back to life like dried-out succulents loving the first rain. The schools here are doing a great job at a tough time, and it’s a lifeline for them, but other than that we’re pretty locked down still, being cautious and frankly having trouble picturing what “after” this era will look like. But I can tell after is where we’re headed, however slowly.