It goes without saying but sometimes it is necessary to go back to your roots. Originally I had planned on doing just that but as we all know, life has a way of throwing a wrench into the machinery. Come to think of it, that’s an interesting analogy considering Henry was a mechanic.
The day of travel started out smoothly, like having an empty seat next to me from Philadelphia to San Francisco. Score! But then I was met with road bumps like a beefy delay at my layover and getting stood up at the airport when I arrived to San Diego. When you’re traveling on your own, fighting back the emotions from having to deal with the loss of a family member, the only thing I hoped for was a familiar face to hug me when I came down the escalators and when it didn’t happen, I was that girl, crying into her cell phone wondering what I did to get served such a piece of a shit sandwich. As if I didn’t have enough in my head, the last thing I needed was to be let down AGAIN. I don’t know why I keep giving people chances when they continuously have nothing to give other than disappointment. It’s rare that I drop my wall for people and expose my vulnerability… I did and I was let down once again. Needless to say, I am done with that situation on so many levels it isn’t even funny. Luckily Spencer pulled the knight in shining armor, came to my rescue and promptly took me to Lalo’s for a burrito.
The next few days were a whirlwind of family time. Josh pretty much pegged it. Because I missed the services, I would be trickling in at a time where everyone was so done with crying and my arrival would feel like a cool breeze coming in through the window. It was in fact just that. I surprised the parents earlier than expected and even though they had a sad undertone, I never saw them break down or cry. The days leading up to the services were hard on everyone and my not being with everyone was a heavy brick of guilt for me. But now we were all under the same roof to just be a family even if for a couple of days.
This is the thing… I have my perceptions about what kind of a person Henry was and as things unfolded I came to a lot of realizations that those perceptions were not off base. It was nice to be validated in my feelings by people who knew him better than I did. Do I feel bad for judging him? Absolutely. But then again, he never gave me the opportunity to see who he was in order to change those perceptions. So Henry is gone and now I will never know the answers. I am still struggling as to whether I am mourning the person, what was there, or what never was. I may have stopped crying over it but the internal thought is still very much present.
I spent a couple days in Mexico with the Garcia clan… going back to CA was one thing but being in Mexico is another. There is something so strong about putting your feet on the ground where you have roots, to be surrounded by comfortable familiarity, to ingest the sights, tastes and scents where you can call it even with closed eyes. Soul healing. I was happy and the only thing missing was the rest of my triangle. Going back to the West Coast will be one of the best things we ever do for ourselves when the day comes. The sun sets on the Pacific and that’s just the way I will always see it.
Then the day came where we all had to part and make ways back to our respective corners of the globe. It was good to see them all and even if the time was brief I was reminded just how awesome my family is. It’s crazy, loud, multi-cultural and it’s mine. I need them far more than I thought and if Henry’s departure has left me with something it’s not to take them for granted cause who knows when the next domino falls.
I only had a small window of time for friends and thankfully I was able to have some time with Spencer, Jason & Eryc, who were amazing enough to open their homes to me even if for a night or 2. It’s interesting and somewhat symbolic that as I lost a brother, I got closer to a few of the men in my life. I felt loved and taken care of the entire time. Amazing what bonding over Slurpees, tots and The Oscars will do to you. I love my boys.
As sad as the circumstances were, it was a good trip full of perspective, lesson learning and some MUCH NEEDED sunshine. It was hard to leave but it had it’s course. Thankfully I had two cats, a sleeping nugget and two very happy boys to come home to – boys who were more than stoked for the bean & cheese burritos I transported in my camera bag cross country. The things we do for the ones we love.
I cannot wait for Spring because for a while now I have felt I was standing on the edge of something greater. It’s coming. I am not sure what “it” is exactly, I just feel it will.
I didn’t take nearly enough photos because my headspace wasn’t “there” but the ones that made way to my camera can be seen here.