Unexpected, happy surprises

Carlos, Lucky and I left home this morning for the first day of our road trip. Occasionionally I will try to think of some creative name for this trip, as its worthy of some meaningful name, but I am still drawing a blank. It is still the trip we are taking because Sylvia died and so far, it is still nothing more. On my birthday, my aunt told us that sometimes when things aren’t planned, you set yourself up for unexpected, happy surprises. I haven’t been quiet about my thoughts and emotions about this adventure so every since my aunt said that, I have tried my hardest to adopt it as a new mantra. Unexpected, happy surprises. I like that. 

We drove from our home to Yachats, Oregon. Its over a 6 hour drive had we missed the traffic heading for the Ducks game in Salem. Trying to avoid another hour stuck in a line of cars going 20 mph on the freeway, we took an exit and rerouted through some of the most beautiful farm land in Willamette Valley that I’ve ever seen. Apparently, it is called the Benton County Scenic Loop – a fun coincidence as we currently live in Benton County of Washington. It was an unexpected, happy surprise.

In Yachats we had two failed attempts at a lunch spot. It was already afternoon and we were starving so to find that one place wasn’t what it appeared online and the other didn’t have a cook that day (?) was frustrating. Last ditch effort we ran across the street to a Yachats Brewery, which we saw had outdoor tables so we were hopeful we could sit outside with Lucky. I cried, silently, when I saw the purple flowers they have decorating their tables. Little dove, is that you?  In addition to being dog friendly (Lucky made us look like real neglectful parents by drinking two full water bowls…), it was one of the better restaurants I’ve eaten at in a long while. I have a not so secret obsession with anything fermented and Yachats Brewery had a plethora of amazing fermented items. Yay! Carlos and I each had a brew (which were delicious) and I also had a salmonberry kombucha (which was fantastic). I had a roasted veggie crepe with their sauerkraut (amazing) for lunch and Carlos had a huge grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and a side of roasted potatoes (yum). What an unexpected, happy surprise.

We visited Cape Perpetua State Park, south of Yachats, for some spots we had heard a lot about. Thor’s Well, a collapsed cave that now creates a sinkhole looking pool when the tide is coming in. It is the place that Carlo’s had originally hoped on taking me to propose. We were unable to find where what we thought we were looking for to get to it and had no cell reception to look it up. We ended up continuing to drive and stopping at a random parking lot on the side of the highway with a trail down to the coast. After getting out of the car we realized we had stopped at the trail head for Thor’s Well. What an unexpected, happy surprise.

Our rental for the night is a beach front cottage just north of Yachats in Waldport. I am sure I knew that it was beach front when I rented it, but I guess because my brain seems to barely focus often anymore, I didn’t really think about it. So have an incredible view off of a beautiful deck for the sunset was an unexpected, happy surprise.

Today was still like every other day with long, hard cries. Just hours ago I was curled up, face in my palms sobbing. Carlos and I truly still can’t believe her death isn’t something we are just going to wake up from. We can not believe this is our life. Yesterday was six weeks since Sylvia was born. I keep feeling like I am getting further and further away from her, which is terrifying. Even just now being on this trip, because it always seemed like this thing in the future, and is now here, is overwhelming. Six weeks. It is no time at all and yet it seems like its been forever. I imagine Sylvia would have started smiling this week or next, or maybe last week like my niece had. Instead, her tiny little urn is sitting across the room from me next to the blanket she was wrapped in as I cry over a keyboard, typing my confused and heartbroken thoughts. Sylvia’s death was a tragedy. An absolute, core shaking, heartbreaking, terrifying, tragedy. But moving forward since her death, everything about our beautiful little daughter, her continual gifts of hope and love and the lives she impacts, are unexpected, happy surprises.

Teresa MendozaComment