Now we’e getting to the heart of the matter. My whole reason behind this trip was to go to the Gathering and make my way back to Tucson. I had not paid visit to this place since my grandpa passed in 2001. My heart was ripped out that day and the thought of coming to this place had since overwhelmed me.
My morning started by going to the cemetery to visit him, my grandma, great aunts and great grandparents (whom I’d never met). It was emotional to say the least. My grandparents were my everything growing up and a loss that has been profound. Somehow this visit and this trip settled all that stirred in me, over that.
In full blown sobbing, cry face I made my way to Missions San Xavier Del Bac. I composed myself and stepped foot on grounds I hadn’t been to since I was a little girl, on a road trip with my grandparents, when they were still living in Los Angeles. Everything seemed smaller than I remembered it.
View from the west. As with many missions, San Xavier is under construction. Almost in a before and after state.
Belfry of the former mortuary chapel, which has since been dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows.
View from the east.
Following this I made my way to the adjacent cemetery (with permission), to visit my grandma’s maternal family that is buried there. That was actually a comedy of errors. The young men that were doing clean up must have gotten a good laugh when I was suddenly attacked by a sticker bush and had to hop around until I found a suitable place to sit and pick them out of my shoe. Not to mention meandering around for a good half hour, trying to find the headstones, only to have passed them as I first walked through the gate. At least I’m entertaining…well, probably just to myself.