After many years of not seeing much of each other, my friend Jane and I are now working on meeting every three months or so. Jane lives in Orange County, which is on the other side of Los Angeles from where I live. So far, we have been to the Getty Museum and to William S. Hart park, where Rachael works. And on Thursday we met at Mission San Fernando Rey, which is the one I never saw on my quest to visit all of the southern and central California missions.
We actually didn't see much of this one either. I was tired when I arrived and so happy to see Jane that all I wanted to do was sit, rest, and talk.
We were able to briefly visit the church, which was large and very beautiful. Funerals were held there so we couldn't stay long.
A couple of different classes of fourth graders were also visiting the mission. Jane told me that studying the missions are part of the 4th grade curriculum here in California. The kids were beyond polite and well-behaved and, of course, so very cute.
As a result of the rain we finally got here, the canyon is turning green, temporarily, and that includes my yard and fields and the hills too. I saw yellow flowers beginning to bloom in the foothills of the canyon mountains. A busy time ahead for me, dealing with all this sudden growth.
Last year, I missed the A to Z Challenge, the one where you post every day, except Sundays, in April. A while back, I decided to join in this year's fun. I never wrote anything more than a day or two ahead of time when I participated in the previous challenges, but this time I decided to prepare ahead. So I have been busy with that.
My subject is serious and I wanted to take time to think about each post. I decided to write about this past year, my first in over 30 years without Errol. Borrowing the title of my theme from a book by Stewart O'Nan, called Emily Alone, a lovely story about a widow in Pittsburgh and her old dog, I'm calling this journey: Me, alone. Life after loss. I have written almost all the posts, maybe 10 are left, and I think I'm doing OK, sharing the sadness and also the surprising joys of the past year.
It's just my story, a story of how I set out to deliberately create a new life for myself. There are so many of us out there, us widows, and we all grieve in our own unique ways. This A to Z is for me. I must admit I was depressed and sad as I wrote it, but I believe that in the long run I will be so glad that I did.
Whatever you write in the A to Z Challenge, I will come to read, Inger. Sometimes writing about tough times makes it easier after it's done. I am happy that you seem to be adjusting to a different way of life, and it's great that your friend came by to visit. Don't do too much of that hard work though, make sure you get help. Take care of you. And the pups of course.ReplyDelete
Lovely photos of your visit to the mission with Jane. I especially enjoyed the fountain and the old trees.ReplyDelete
Sometimes, writing about the past is depressing, but I think it cleanses also.
Looking forward to your A - Z challenge.
Your title is so apt, and for you, even with sadness, there will be happy pages, and I am looking forward to reading.ReplyDelete
The title is PERFECT!!Delete
Hi Inger - I'm sure you'll be pleased you'll have written the posts - and I'm delighted you'll be joining us in the A-Z. I look forward to your reflections on last year ... so difficult, yet as you say we can be uplifted during these times ... especially thinking back - I know I do. I'm so pleased you and Jane are getting together and making plans to visit interesting places, to talk and chill ...ReplyDelete
Wonderful to see you at the A-Z ... and isn't that rain wonderful -I was wondering if it had reached your area ... cheers Hilary
Hi Inger - I emailed and expect that will solve your query ... xoxoDelete
The mission looks beautiful. I'm glad that you are writing in the A to Z challenge. I'm looking forward to it.ReplyDelete
That is very brave of you to lay out your emotions in the A to Z Challenge. My best to you as you take on this project. I will be reading and following your journey.ReplyDelete
I'm very proud of you too. It's hard to sort through painful experiences and write about them. It's like reliving them again and most of us avoid that. But I think it will help you heal and help others too. Sweet hugs, DianeReplyDelete
so glad to hear you are seeing Jane more, it is good for both of you. friends are like balm for the soul...i hope the a to z writing will help lift your spirits. i think you have done an incredible job this past year of getting on with your life after loss...ReplyDelete
I think you are wise to write your survival journal of living alone for a year after your loss in the A to Z Challenge form. Good for you to write ahead and i'm sure you will be glad your did this.ReplyDelete
We love to visit the California missions, as well as those in Arizona and New Mexico. Such memories there!ReplyDelete
To cope with loss and memory of what was is very difficult. I will be here each day if the Great Mystery allows. :-)ReplyDelete
I do hope this series will be healing and cathartic for you. We will be here for support as you share your pains and pleasures. Perhaps your journey will also help someone else who finds themselves suddenly alone.ReplyDelete
oh, those trees! wizened and aged and so beautiful - as we hope to be. :)ReplyDelete
So nice that you and Jane have been seeing each other more often.ReplyDelete
I'm sure you are an inspiration to others who are going through a similar situation.
I love visiting the old California missions. So much history and beauty. Love those twisted trees!ReplyDelete
I will be following your A to Z. I just can't find the enthusiasm this year! Haven't yet decided if I want to write posts.ReplyDelete
Lovely photos, I saw the San Xavier mission once, this looks just as lovely. Glad to see you are going to do the challenge!ReplyDelete
Being a widow too, I know how hard the journey is. I'll look forward to your posts on this. I also know the value of a good friend. They can be hardReplyDelete
To come by and are a treasure.
Beautiful pictures of the mission.
This is a lovely post Inger - and yes you are doing fine!ReplyDelete
I am amazed how your header now shows all that green of the season, so beautiful!
you will do great, love your writing.ReplyDelete
I loved visiting the missions when we lived in California. This was one we never got to. They are so interesting. I will look forward to your A to Z posts. Writing can be very therapeutic and healing so I hope that is what you find it to be. So glad you have a good friend you are getting together with often. Happy Easter. Love from AZ.ReplyDelete
Love your photos of your visit to the mission, with your friend Jane!ReplyDelete
Very beautiful building and place!
I am glad you have lovely friends like Rachel, Jane and Mary! Have friends is very precious, for sure!
Hugs and Love!