Today I will break the longest silence that I’ve had on my blog. Honestly, I have not fallen off the planet, though it felt like I did for a while. In the past few months I have made plenty of pies… and I’d like to share some of those photos with you now.
Putting the finishing touches on a pie.
Blanca at the tienda gets her Chocolate, Coconut and Banana Cream Pie
A Coconut Cream Pie for Florina
Coco and I delivered a Chocolate Cream Pie to Jose and Patty
As you can see, some of those pies were given away in Mexico. Yes, I was lucky to go to Barra de Navidad once again, this time with my kids, Alexandra and Coco. It was so good to see them enjoying the town that I have come to love and find that they are hoping to return. They were comfortable in this small fishing village and were embraced by the same people who have been kind to me.
Michaela, the pharmacist who lives a few doors down from our apartment sat and visited with us many times. She was thrilled to meet my kids and I was happy to see them enjoying her attention. Then there was Ricardo, our friend who owns a taco stand. When he saw me a few weeks ago, his face brightened and he said, “It’s Karen Amarotico!” We are Facebook friends after all, but I haven’t seen him in a year, and I was touched that he remembered my name. Ricardo and his wife, Nacy, even invited us to their home for a private dinner. The chile rellenos filled with shrimp were delicious and I was so honored to be considered a part of their family!
And of course, we saw Jose of the Malecon. He’s no longer working in Barra, but rather in the neighboring town of Melaque. Last year, he’d asked me if I could bring him a guitar on my next visit and thanks to my good friend, Tim, I was able to do just that. Jose seemed completely amazed but very happy. It was fun to watch Jose and Coco take turns playing and singing and bridging the language barrier with music.
Me with Alexandra and Coco
This trip, my kids joined me because my marriage is over. (The details of the dissolution are not important.) It’s not that I don’t want to be open about the pain and challenges of this phase, but I’m simply learning that my life is not going to be what it was… it will be brand new. And isn’t that what happens? We think we know what’s coming… but we really don’t. Yes, John Lennon, life is what happens while we are busy making other plans. Life also throws curve balls now and then, and sometimes, life sucker punches us in the gut. The pain lessens over time… but it never goes away forever.
Clearly I am not alone in dealing with the pain of loss. It happens to all of us… and if we are open to sharing the pain, then maybe we can show others that while the pain is terrible, it is survivable. If anyone would care to offer the tips, strategies, or words of encouragement that helped them through a time like this, I would love to hear them. Thank you in advance for being willing to share. It means so much to me.
What is most important right now is to say thank you to the many friends and family that have come to my side to help me move forward. You all know who you are, and I am deeply grateful for your support during this difficult time.
I’d like to end with this quote from Sheryl Sandberg’s Facebook post (following the death of her husband):
“I think when tragedy occurs, it presents a choice. You can give in to the void, the emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or even breathe. Or you can try to find meaning. These past thirty days, I have spent many of my moments lost in that void. And I know that many future moments will be consumed by the vast emptiness as well. But when I can, I want to choose life and meaning.”
And as for me, I would like to continue giving away pies.