Once again we welcome in a brand new year in Lake Elsinore, CA.
Jeff worked a 2-seating buffet at Pechanga Casino in Temecula, so I welcomed in the New Year with the dogs, watching movies and drinking Prosecco. Across the lake displays of fireworks announced the magic moment to turn the calendar over. I had a front row seat out the RV windows.
Unfortunately this year is off to a less than an encouraging start. Jeff’s father’s heart is failing. In the first few days of the new year he spent 2 days in the hospital and then returned to the ER several days later. Now Jeff, his 2 brothers, and sister are all in Indianapolis to say goodbye to their father as he settles into hospice care.
Jeff flew out of Santa Ana in Orange County early yesterday morning. By 7:30 I was back in Lake Elsinore feeling sad (and relieved that I survived the drive back, as this was my first time driving on California’s multi-laned freeways, 3 of them, no less!) I took the dogs out for their morning walk and was struck by the surreal view of the lake. So, I went back to get my iPad and took these pictures because they depict the melancholy of my soul right now, a pensive sadness seasoned with gratefulness.
The low lying clouds block the view of the mountains and the city beyond giving me a sense of loneliness and disconnect. But I know that the sun will burn off the clouds and the mountains and city will reappear.
Look closely at the boat ramp and the piers perched next to the orange pylons showing how low the level of the lake is this year. Last summer was very hot and rainless in Lake Elsinore. But since we’ve been here mid-October, rain and cooler temperatures have prevailed. As a matter of fact, due to all the recent rains, the dam at Canyon Lake was opened to prevent flooding and the excess water spilled into Lake Elsinore raising the overall level of the lake by 1 foot.
Today the sun is bursting over the lake. Last year we took sun and cloudless blue skies for granted.
A few steps later, I can take some softer pics behind some palm trees… pics that inspire me to reflect on what I am feeling inside.
Let me think how to begin… I am not depressed. I am just honestly acknowledging my feelings to myself and fighting the urge to judge myself harshly.
My world feels off- kilter and I don’t know why. I am in love with and married to my best friend. I feel loved by everyone in my family and beyond, and I love everyone in my family and beyond. I am living my dream. I am happy. But, like the picture below, I am in a fog.
Some days I feel so unmotivated and this feeling really scares me. I judge myself when I don’t wake up with a smile, take a walk, do something productive… when all I want to do is eat, drink wine, and sleep. I feel like I am losing a part of myself, like I am grieving something I can’t explain.
This may sound trite and ridiculous but as 2016 came to a close 3 deaths hit me in the face… George Michael and Carrie Fisher were so unexpected, but when Debbie Reynolds passed away the day after her daughter left us, I felt an unexpected sorrow.
Perhaps I felt a premonition.
As I publish this post, I have just found out that Jeff’s father is gone. I am grateful that Jeff could be there to say goodbye to him.
Joe Jernigan, we will all miss you! Your smile, your positive attitude, your jokes, laughter, stories, and love made us all better persons for having been a part of your life! We will grieve losing you and pick up the pieces of our broken hearts and slowly go on living again.