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Prayers for Israel & Gaza | Traveling without Teri :(

Another demanding week has come to an end, and I'm incredibly grateful that the weekend is finally here and I can relax at home with Mayo, although I was not expected to be home in Irvine until tomorrow (Sunday) night. The distressing news of the ongoing turmoil in Israel and Gaza weighs heavily on my heart. While I've personally experienced significant loss this year, it's impossible to understand the pain that countless individuals in Israel and Gaza are enduring. Many are still physically suffering and have tragically lost loved ones and their homes, while others are being forced to relocate.


Israel holds a special place in the heart of Terwin:

When I recall our discussions about the Celebration of Life slideshow and what to show during the service, I knew I wanted everyone to witness a visual journey of our trip:

When I feel discouraged, I think about my time in Israel with Teri and how God really took care of us. I miss her companionship. I also cherish the memories of friends and family who attentively gathered at our home to hear about our experiences in Israel upon our return. Teri had a profound understanding of Israel and everything we did on the trip, which was aided by her dedicated reading of the entire Bible in 2022 and thorough research before our departure. She always made the most of every adventure and this was no exception. Although we joined the tour group a few days late, I am truly thankful that we were able to secure same-day flights and embark on this memorable journey.


Lord, we raise Israel and Gaza to you. We pray for those suffering. We humbly ask that you provide peace in this crisis, and protection and comfort for all the many brothers and sisters who have been impacted. We lift our prayer to you, Lord, hear us.


Traveling without Teri :(

This past Thursday afternoon, I embarked on a journey to Las Vegas and Ely, Nevada with a small group of friends, all in pursuit of some mountain biking adventures and the opportunity to witness the Annular Eclipse. While I've said no to several trips this year, I made an exception to this one since I enjoy mountain biking and didn't have to plan any of it. Like the Israel trip, trips that I don't have to plan are ideal for me.


Our initial destination was Las Vegas. We took it easy getting there and had a nice dinner at Outback Steakhouse. I should have ordered a salad. On Saturday morning, we had a fantastic time mountain biking in Blue Diamond, which is approximately a 20-minute drive from the Vegas Strip:

On our way to Ely, Nevada, we were forced to make a tough call to end our trip due to an Airbnb booking mishap and a lack of alternative lodging options. Everything was sold out because of the eclipse. Consequently, we found ourselves heading back home on Friday night.


The decision, at least for me, was not as difficult as one might think. Although reaching our final destination and doing more biking and eclipse-watching would have been an extraordinary "once in a lifetime" event, the initial bike ride on Friday morning had left me thoroughly exhausted. During that ride, I mainly lagged behind the rest of the group, struggling to keep pace. The previous evening, I ate a lot more than I should and hadn't enjoyed a restful night's sleep since I kept napping on the long car ride. I also seem to miss Mayo more and more and prefer to take him with me everywhere I go. The heat was also starting to take its toll. I just wanted to go home.


Since I needed to take Friday off, the week leading up to the trip had been another exhausting one for me. I was preoccupied with work and when I need a break, I'll end up thinking about Teri and will rewatch many of her video clips. I guess she's like my Netflix when I need some downtime. Even now, I estimate that her memory crosses my mind a hundred times a day? Despite being at the back of the group during the bike ride, I found solace in the solitude it offered, allowing me the time to ponder and reflect upon life and the numerous journeys I had undertaken with Teri.


Who is more organized... Erwin or Teri?

Speaking of travel and having to organize my toiletry bag for this recent trip, I've found yet another reason to share a short Teri video. But before we dive into that, let me provide a bit of context about myself. During my childhood, my mother came up with a brilliant idea: organizing contests among my siblings to see who could best tidy up their rooms. To my delight, I usually came in first place in these contests. Despite how my garage looks like right now, I really do like to keeping things orderly.


Now, fast forward to my current profession and also what I enjoy doing for friends and family. Organizing stuff and making order out of chaos. One of my responsibilities at work involves enhancing the organization of the IT department and managing multiple ongoing IT projects simultaneously. Although this work never seems to end, this is probably my favorite part of the job. I think most people perceive me as an organized individual. However, Teri and the friends who visit and catch a glimpse of my garage know the real story. When it comes to organizing something that interest me, I usually excel at it. Yet, when it comes to tasks that don't quite capture my enthusiasm, such as packing for a trip and how to travel efficiently, things tend to become chaotic. Fortunately, Teri came to my rescue:

This is the only video I will show here on this topic since others involved me turning off the camera early because she would eventually get annoyed or upset. Hopefully you get the idea and what it was like when we would have discussions on how to organize all of our stuff. While there was no shortage of arguments on these topics, I'm thankful that Teri pretty much took over the management of the house and I get to benefit from all of her systems including an organized toiletry bag.


I write stuff like this because I really want people to know the truth about my relationship with Teri. Teri would always feel misunderstood in our relationship. I get it now since that's how I feel. In summary, this has been a very humbling season for me and hopefully people can learn something new and reflect on their own relationships. Sharing the truth involves trying to convince my friends and family that Teri was the more organized one and was the better planner. She was the one who planned most of the wedding. She also created and managed our personal "Terwin United" Trello board to help us with what we needed to do for the week:

While I'm so thankful for her organization skills, I feel sad reviewing all these todos that never got completed. I am reminded again that life is short and that I need to spend some alone time really thinking and praying about my priorities. Teri didn't even make it to her second round of chemotherapy. I'll write another post in the future on the importance of being organized with your financial and digital assets so you don't have to talk about logistics at the hospital in the even of an emergency.


Terwin at Snow Canyon (April 2017)

Yesterday when the group discovered that we did not have a place to stay, one option we considered was to stay in St. George, Utah for one night, and then head to Ely after watching the eclipse. While the hotel prices were quite high (compared to the Airbnb), I was intrigued by it because St. George, Utah was familiar place for me. I love familiar places and people. Teri had no problem planning her first trip to visit me in California with our first destination being Snow Canyon in St. George. We also went to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, places I went to for the first time 11 years ago. I'm sure that if she was still here, she would have wanted to visit these places again to watch the eclipse.


Here's a short video of us in Snow Canyon in April 2017:

While there's not much going on in this brief video, it makes me happy. It's a great reminder of how Teri and had a lot of fun together. I also remember:

  • We ate at Black Bear Diner on the day of her birthday, one of my favorite restaurants because of their amazing pancakes. FYI I almost went there on Thursday night in Vegas.

  • Teri got the pancakes and poured way too much syrup on them, even though I told her not to. She didn't listen.

  • How I loved those $10 sunglasses, I thought she looked so cute in them. Unfortunately I accidentally broke them. She wasn't happy about that. I looked everywhere for the same pair but was unsuccessful.

  • We did our first "devos" together at Black Bear Diner using the book Jesus Calling for Kids. It was an interesting discussion and highlighted how our faith was really different. I can't wait to do devos in my next relationship, God willing I meet someone.

I have no idea how she hurt her knee. Probably not my fault...


Conclusion

I should wrap up this post. I've spent a lot of time reflecting on how I am feeling about traveling without Teri and how to have "fun" in life without her. To no ones surprise, it hasn't been easy and this recent trip to Nevada really gets me thinking about what I want to do these days with my free time besides write in this blog and talk about Teri. It's okay. One day at a time.


Reflecting on The Snow Canyon trip reminded me that Teri was so adventurous. I don't feel adventurous at all these days. Lately when it comes to travel, I don't feel up for any sort of adventures and why I'm probably glad I am back at home. I used to tell everyone, including Teri, that my favorite vacations always involved mountain bikes. Maybe it was just a bad day. I am not sure. I am sure that I am in very strange place in life right now and I can't explain it.


At home, even with no shortage of friends and family to spend time with, I guess I've been feeling quite discouraged. It's usually about the same things. I am getting busy with work again. I still feel misunderstood by most people. I am struggling with finding a new purpose since the plan at the beginning of 2023 was to focus on to starting a family through surrogacy. Now what's next?


That's all for now. I should get back to finishing my taxes so I don't have a stressful Monday night. Please keep Israel and Gaza in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks for reading another short novel and hope everyone has a great weekend!

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Jenny Scott
Jenny Scott
Oct 15, 2023

Enjoyed reading your post. So glad we can see you at church tomorrow and that you are enjoying your time with Mayo. Thanks for sharing the videos of Teri and your thoughts about your adventurous relationship

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Emilyn Edillon
Emilyn Edillon
Oct 15, 2023

Regarding the topic of organization, I remember a time when I visited you, and I noticed how you meticulously stored a freshly washed duvet in a specific bedding bag. I know it might seem like a routine task to most people, but for someone like you, who isn't particularly skilled in house stuff, it was a significant improvement that I'm sure Teri would be happy to see.


We all miss Teri very much. Although we may not fully comprehend the depth of your emotions or what you're going through, please know that many of us are thinking about you. We're here to support you and give you space to process things. Even though she is not here with us physically,…

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