Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

Friday, April 19, 2024

Quiet Cry Day: Stories from A to Z

The next day, Friday, Forrest left early for the Atacama Desert, where he would spend five days. I was staying another two nights in Antofagasta and then would take the bus to Iquique, where we would meet up before our final leg of the journey to the border. 

If I could avoid spending money at restaurants and instead eat bananas, peanut butter, nuts and fruit, I’d be happy. Our hotel offered a free breakfast, which would help. 

On Saturday, I went for their complimentary breakfast then walked around the neighborhood to get my bearings. I looked for a nearby church to attend in the morning. While I was out, I bought a two-liter of Diet Coke and a large bag of Lay’s potato chips for a Sunday treat. Peanut butter on bananas would be food for Sunday as well. I also had mixed nuts if I needed them, but the bananas had to get eaten first. 

The bus station was only about five blocks from our hotel. I bought my ticket leaving Monday at one for Iquique. 

Our hotel room had great Wi-Fi so I spent Saturday afternoon working and making up for lost time without Internet. I never worked on Sundays, but I had a few books on my Kindle that looked good and could keep me occupied. And I could take longer walks, getting to know the city. 

When Sunday came, it turned into a day of isolation and junk food where I didn't leave my room. I had not found a church in the neighborhood and didn’t feel like searching afar for one. I didn’t even go to the free breakfast. Instead, I journaled for hours and feasted on potato chips and diet Coke. 

In the afternoon, I opened a free Kindle book downloaded years ago but never read. It was about a woman who came to Ireland after losing the beloved aunt who had raised her.

The woman had rented a cottage outside of town on a country road. Upon arrival, grief for her aunt overwhelmed her. She started crying and went on for days, not eating or leaving the house, just crying and sleeping. Occasionally, she wandered around the cottage then returned to bed and cried. 

A housekeeper quietly let herself in and left food for her. The woman finally noticed the food in the fridge and kitchen. In between crying and sleeping, she ate these delicious home-cooked meals. 

I was so envious. I wanted a secluded cottage in the Irish countryside to cloister myself and cry my eyes out. I wanted a quiet housekeeper who left delicious, ready-to-eat food in my kitchen, cleaned up, and then disappeared. Like this woman in the book, I had not fully grieved. I had such heartache, but always pushed it away because it hurt too much. 

Along the beach in Coquimbo, I had opened myself up to grief because of the solitude, the wide ocean, the busy seagulls, and the companionable pelicans.

Don't these pelicans look like great listeners? The bartenders of the bird world.

As I read this book, I cried along with the woman and thought about renting a cottage in Ireland. I finished it that day. A satisfying read, as the cottage owner turned out to be a handsome Irishman who also happened to be single. It was a nice little romance with a theme and a setting that appealed to a grieving widow.

Tomorrow I would get on the bus and return to my traveling self. Today was a quiet, cry day, the kind you need every now and then but thankfully not too often.


  1. Nothing beats a good cry. I love how much this book related to your feelings. That's very cool and you told the story well. Very well.

  2. A quiet cry day is something we all need occasionally.

  3. It's wonderful that you found a book that spoke to you. We all need a cry day now and then, sometimes more often than not. Be well.

    1. Debi, I feel bad that I can't remember the title or the author. It would've been good to give her credit for doing such a great job with writing a book that helped someone get through a bad day.

  4. In my daily prayers, i ask G-d to take care of the widows. I know too many now.

    1. Mirka, God has indeed blessed and taken care of me. I'm grateful for that every day.

  5. The book was cathartic and just what you needed. So were the potato chips and diet coke!

  6. You needed that cry day and the book was there just when you needed it. Have you asked a librarian about that book? Many have their own ways of finding books and authors for patrons.


Comments are welcome!