made it to los angeles! i'm in long beach and have settled into a little studio apartment for the week. yes, i'm a bit jet-lagged, a bit out of sorts, but i'm ok. a 7-hour flight, a 2-hour layover, followed by another 10-hour flight wasn't nearly as bad i'd imagined. funny how i was fine during the take-offs, but the landings were more difficult. kept bursting into tears because you weren't there to hold my hand as you had been so many times. i missed the way we used to smile at each other, too tired to speak but intoxicated with anticipation of the adventures ahead.
the last time we were in this part of the world, we came to visit with laura and bill, your aunt and uncle. i remember how we spent several hours with them, shared a delicious lunch they prepared for us, toasted with a glass of wine, exchanged stories from the past, and talked about our hopes for the future. after much hugging and laughing, we left smiling, happy to have spent that time with them. soon after, bill went to heaven and we cried and cried, but we also spoke about their amazing love affair and their strength and courage during good times and bad. they served as a model for us, and we decided we wanted to be just like them when we grew up. now we find ourselves in a similar situation, and i find myself still looking up to laura.
also remember us taking to the road towards portola valley the next day to visit with your family. you told me how beautiful the drive was along the pacific coast so we set out looking forward to long stretches of beaches and stopping for good mexican food. wasn't long before we were stuck in an endless traffic jam, horrified to discover everywhere we went, there were throngs of people and long lines in every cafe and restaurant. then we remembered it was labor day weekend! we'd been in our own little world, having just traveled through spain and portugal, totally out of touch with u.s. holidays. although it wasn't what we had envisioned, you kept reassuring me it will get better…
… and it did! eventually, we found a nice quiet spot on a beach, took a walk, stared out at the impossibly blue ocean, and let out a big sigh as we watched the sun go down. we grinned from ear to ear, so glad we had kept going, had not turned back. wondering now that if we had not had the disappointment and the frustration at things not going as planned, whether that moment would have been just as rewarding.
i know now it's the journey, always the journey, that defines the moment. like that day, the road will not always be easy, but it will always lead to happy places that make it all worthwhile. so as painful as it is now, i'll keep going, won't turn back, forever remember, and continue taking steps forward one at a time…
miss you madly,