As most of you reading know, I spent this past week in San Diego. It was my first trip back there since Tony died, and I was so apprehensive about what it would be like. Parts were extremely difficult – the empty chairs that I wrote about earlier this week. It was hard, too, seeing my co-workers for the first time in months. Three of those co-workers were there for me in a concrete way the day Tony died; but all of them have accommodated me as I’ve worked remotely. It felt good to be there.
My dad ended up driving out from Phoenix to meet me there. His presence meant that I wasn’t sitting in a hotel room alone. It meant that I had someone to walk into the office with me that first morning, to make sure I was okay and that there was somebody there in case I needed to cry. I got a little teary. It would have been infinitely worse to walk in there alone. I can never thank him enough for that.
The night I went out with the women from my Spanish group, we went to a restaurant right on the water, one I’d never been to. It was in La Jolla Cove, which is where Tony and I had brunch on our wedding day. I had some misgivings about going anywhere near there, but then decided that I really wanted to. It’s always been one of my favorite places in San Diego. The waves are spectacular, there are colonies of seals and pelicans and seagulls there, and we’d be there to see the sunset. I had a little pang when my friend Lydia first turned her car into the area, but it was a bittersweet pang. I missed Tony, so much, yet I really don’t want to forget that place.
Tony and I sometimes went there to work on script outlines. There’s something about watching the waves, hearing the ocean, smelling the salt air, that stimulates my creativity and we truly came up with some of our best ideas there. The dinner was lovely, the view spectacular, and the company filled my heart. What more could I ask for?
My other dinners out were in an area of town that Tony and I never really spent time in. That helped. That fourth chair at the table was still empty when I had dinner with Cam and Amy; that part was hard. Yet seeing their faces, hearing their voices, reminiscing about Tony and catching up? That part was wonderful. I’m glad I went.
I didn’t get to see all of my San Diego friends. The week was a bit overwhelming, I didn’t sleep well and I found that I had to dial back my plans. I know I will be going back soon, and I think the next time will be easier.
San Diego is a beautiful city. It was more beautiful with Tony in it. The world was more beautiful with him in it. But what I realized this week is, it is still beautiful. The world and the city, both of them.