It was a good walk, and it felt good both to take a nice walk and to support a good cause. The weather in Mission Bay park was just about perfect, not too hot but not too cool, and sunny. The walk was easy since it was a consistent 1 to 3 feet above sea level and on sidewalk or occasionally grass.
There was a very emotional talk afterwards by one of the survivors, remembering both her brother and how she felt and has dealt with it. But overall, it was an uplifting event.
At times I did feel a bit outside since I haven't been personally touched by suicide, even with clinical depression not uncommon in my family (or self). But I think that those of us who believe that we need to be taking efforts to prevent suicide and helping with the survivors -- that is people whose loved ones have taken their own lives.
There were a few rather heartbreaking scenes. Probably the hardest was when I was walking behind a very happy, bouncy and beautiful eight or nine-year-old girl who was wearing a "I'm walking in honor of ..." sticker on which was written "my grandpa." I couldn't help looking at this girl and thinking how could someone kill himself with a beautiful granddaughter like here around?
As part of the walk, people were encouraged to take strings of beads that identified their relationship with the suicide, or a string of blue beads for those of us just supporting the cause. Both Tara and I also noticed quite a few people wearing multiple strings of different colors, showing that they'd lost more than one loved one or friend
After the walk, the family debated on where to go to eat. After checking through our books of coupons, we decided to try Casa Guadalajara in Old Town. So we drove the short distance to Old Town, parking under the freeway in the transit center parking lot. We then walked (after a couple of unexpected and unmarked on the map dead ends) to the restaurant. After eating we wandered around first some of the shops near the park, and then into the park.
For better or worse, the park was hosting an arts and crafts fair this weekend, so was both more crowded than the last time I was there 10 or 11 years ago, and had booths filling most of the central plaza area. But we did look in a few shops -- including one selling a lot of Victorian and western type wear that had both a hat and vest I'd be tempted to pick up as part of a steam punk type costume, and one that sold boots that I might be able to wear and would work with that kind of costume better than either my day to day shoes or my bald mountain moccasin.
We ended our time in the park with some ice cream -- actually shakes for Derrick and I -- and headed home.
All in all, a pretty good day.