Two recaps in one, since the past week was such a busy one.
Philadelphia TripLast week I went to Philadelphia for training for work. This was my first trip since Kevin died, other than to visit family. I got into town on Sunday around 3pm, and I had planned to do some sightseeing that evening. I wasn't able to do any, though. I checked into my hotel, went across the street to check into my conference, went to CVS to buy some snacks, and then went back to my hotel room where I talked to Kevin, prayed, and cried myself to sleep. I was just overwhelmed with an intense wave of grief and loss, and there was nothing else to do for it. I wanted nothing more than to be home with our familiar things, and I felt farther away from Kevin than ever. At moments like those, the rest of my life stretches out before me and feels bleak and empty. I know that's not reality, but that's how it sometimes feels.
I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety. Psalm 61:2b
The old me would've scolded myself for wasting the afternoon lying in bed, but I think it was necessary. If I'd tried to bottle it inside and go out anyway, I don't think I would've been able to appreciate and enjoy anything. If I stuff my feelings inside, I stuff them all in, so I miss out on enjoying the good moments too. And I might still have broken down crying somewhere out in public. I think it was totally okay to take that time to just feel sad and let it out and let God comfort me.
After crying and sleeping it off, I did feel more like myself the next day. The training started at 8:30, and by lunchtime I already had a list of things I wanted to look at when I got back to work. In addition to my 3-day class on Asset Management, I also went to an optional workshop on advocating for low income housing that was very interesting & informative. Being busy with classes helped me feel better, I'm sure.
Monday evening, I walked over and saw the Liberty Bell, then walked through the Rose Garden and Magnolia Garden. A little late in the season for both, but still pretty. Then I walked down to Penn's Landing, along the Delaware River. Kevin would've really liked the riverfront, with all the boats, big container ships and loading cranes.
Tuesday even though it was in the 90's, I ran from my hotel to the Art Museum (about 2 miles), stopping on the way to take lots of pictures. The route went mostly along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a street that was modeled after the Champs-Élysées and lined with flags of all the nations that have populations represented in the city. Once I got to the Art Museum, I had my picture made with the Rocky Statue, then ran the Rocky steps (72 of them). I took more pictures on the run back to my hotel. There's art everywhere in Philly, and they apparently think the Robert Indiana LOVE statue is theirs since they have it on shirts, hats, magnets, etc. Indy has one too, and ours is bigger.
Philly is a really interesting city and there's so much more to see, so I hope I get another chance to go back. A few travel lessons learned: 1) Take small bills for tips. I travel so rarely that I forgot all about the need to tip my shuttle drivers, tour guides, etc. 2) Carry a backpack instead of a shoulder bag. I averaged 6 miles of walking a day, and a backpack definitely would've been more comfortable. 3) The moccasins were a good shoe choice. I didn't pack any shoes besides my running shoes, to save suitcase space. So I wore my moccasins the entire trip other than my run. They are comfortable even with all that walking, flexible enough to give me a good feel for where I'm walking, slip on and off easily for airport security, and keep my feet warm when I'm inside in the A/C.
When I got home, I was hit with a wave of sadness again walking into our room and seeing that Kevin wasn't there. My head knew he wouldn't be, of course, but I think it takes the heart a lot longer to accept it. I didn't get overwhelmed like I had on Sunday; just felt sad and lonely for a while. It seems funny since a few days earlier all I'd wanted was to be home, yet once I got there it felt wrong and uncomfortable at first. I had to go back downstairs for a while before I was able to come up and unpack. But that's okay too. I think I'm learning to be a little easier on myself now.