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Seeing Adeline in Oaxaca

Traveling after losing my girl has been a challenge to myself. I always thought that I would have someone with me until the day that I died. I never want to be a widow or without Shane and I can't imagine any more loss in my life that I can survive to be honest. I know that everyone sees strength within me and braveness, but inside I promise you that I am weak and afraid. For my first solo adventure in 2021, I traveled to the South and got to see places and things that I had always wanted to see. For my solo adventure this year, I wanted to challenge myself to travel internationally alone, to do something that I had always been afraid of and that I let fear keep me from.

(At lunch on Saturday I could see a view of the market below, these balloons had me sobbing while I ate. Seeing the unicorn reminded me of my girl and how much she loved simple things like a unicorn balloon.)

I will admit that this trip has taught me a lot about myself. Number one, I know that there is nothing that I cannot do alone. Number two, I no longer think that I am going to need to travel yearly alone to prove this. I am glad that I took these two trips, but I no longer want to spend any time that I could be spending with my family elsewhere.

(While listening to the band play "Earth Angel" and obviously fighting back tears, I saw my first flags hung between buildings. They were purple, my favorite color in childhood and Adeline's first favorite color, and white, the color that reminds me of Heaven and angels. This gave them powerful new meaning and I felt like they were a gift from my girl.)

Now, to spend a few moments talking about the way that grief can manifest literally anywhere. I have sobbed. I have cried, felt my broken heart ripping apart, and wanted to scream (but haven't because I don't want to alarm anyone). I have felt myself break down in new ways that I did not know was possible. I felt my heart ripping away from my body and felt my body lifting away from the Earth in a profound way of feeling myself united with my littlest love. I have sobbed openly on terraces while eating, broken down on a public bus watching a young girl happily hold her pizza slice box, and cried openly in the streets. I have let myself feel the weight and pain of my grief. I have let myself be broken. I am always grieving. This pain never leaves, but it is a pain that I can live with. I can forever remember my littlest love and how much she meant to me and the world around her. She is amazing and will forever be my littlest love.

The Mexican culture around death and the afterlife is so different. Most people here believe that their loved ones are always with them and around them each and every day. I love this and it is how I have felt since losing my littlest love. I know that she is always with me. I was out and about my first full day here, exploring the area and just seeing what the city had to offer. At one point I was directed to a place that ended up not being there and later when I looked at the map again, this place did not come up on the map. It was like it never existed at this location. On the walk, I ran into a band performing in the street and as I walked past them, they began playing "Earth Angel" in Spanish. I recognized the song immediately and instantly knew that Adeline had wanted me to experience this and see the band.

(This is another site that made me sob. This beautiful landscape where I got to enjoy the sunset while I was dining and enjoying dinner. Being able to see the beauty (and check out that orb there in font of me...she is here!!) was overwhelming because I wish so much that I could have my little girl sitting on my lap where I could feel the weight of her. I do know that she was there.)

Yesterday, I got lost trying to find my way back and ended up frustrated and homesick at a cafe. I didn't take a picture :( but after I sat down, I saw that there were glowing angel wings on the wall in front of where I was sitting. Another reminder in those moments where I was actually crying in a cafe that I am not alone. I felt very lonely and homesick, which is not something that I have ever experienced before. Today I plan on trying to understand these feelings and how they relate to my grief journey.

I did come to Mexico with the goal of writing two papers. Today paper 1 will be written and submitted before I head to bed. Hopefully I will also get paper 2 finished up by Wednesday before I fly home. It will be so nice to be ready to knock out my very last paper and to study for my FOS exam and be finished with my Master's. I am so excited to see where the future leads. I know that my goal was to be a college instructor when I returned to school, but I am now looking at local teaching jobs as I don't want to move away. I want to get our kids back in school in Canton and I want to have a job in the local schools in that area. I am working on calling about a new licensure pathways program at WIU tomorrow and will also be speaking with the local licensure board there. I am excited to see what I learn and how this all works out for me in the near future. I really hope that I can find a teaching job that will let me work with kids and teach that can be excitement and fun when you are learning.

(The tree that I see each time I enter where I am staying. Adeline loved trees like me and I will forever appreciate the beautiful trees that I see.)

Today's plans do not include as much exploration. That is okay. I will take a walk at some point for food or perhaps I won't and I will just get delivery from a local pizza place, I guess the future will determine this for me. I am really relaxing, going with the flow, and having a self care day today. I will still get my work done, but I am going to let myself have movie/tv show breaks and will just push through until I am finished writing later tonight.

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