This is a picture from my vacation last week. I'd love to tell you all that it was the most fantastic trip I've ever been on.
That, however, would be a lie.
It was mostly .... not fun. It was mostly ..... lonely. It was mostly .... painful.
I really, really needed Jim there.
But there is no answer for that need ..... and so I move forward.
There were some good moments ..... like the time I spent reading and relaxing underneath the above beach umbrella ..... all by myself.
And I met some nice people, even though I'm not one who easily engages with strangers. Well, let me re-phrase that. I never used to easily engage with strangers, until Jim died and suddenly widowed people were not strangers. Not even for an instant.
I am in San Diego this week, staying with Jim's brother and his family. My father-in-law was here until yesterday. And when he left .... a very huge wave came crashing down on me. I never saw it coming. I had to leave the house and stay outside for a while before I could calm down enough to come in.
I haven't seen him since my mother-in-law died last May.
When he left in the car it felt like another part of Jim was leaving .... and who knows if or when I'll ever see him again.
Grieving totally sucks.
But, on a good note, I love being here with my family. They let me just relax here and don't expect anything of me. The kids are not here and are being well taken care of. As is everything back home.
I'm still able to get some work done each day, which I love, because my job makes me feel as if I matter ..... that I make a difference.
And on another good note .... I will go on another adventure in 2 days .... the Widows' Conference. I can NOT wait to meet so many of these people whom I've only met through cyber space,
I don't think I can possibly love them any more than I already do from seeing them face-to-face, but it will be so great to hug each one and just sit and talk, hopefully with no masks.
Yes, it is an adventure that I wish with all my heart I did not have to take. I would trade every good thing, every single blessing, to just wake up and find that this has been a 19 month nightmare.
But ... that, too, is not meant to be.
And so, I push on .... looking for new adventures ..... sometimes having to force myself to go on them, but I'm usually glad that I did.
And I know that Jim is glad that I did.
I would certainly want it for him if our places were switched.
So, in spite of this year and a half nightmare ...... and many, many times because of it ..... I have been blessed.
Very, very blessed.
And I have no doubt that ..... in 2 days, I will have a weekend of blessings to tally up and share.
I pray that many of you will be there .... and that we will get to meet.
Because we are stronger than we think we are ..... especially when there's a group of us .... together.
We can do anything.
And I look forward to doing that.