Our children have left on their amazing journey. It was hard to see them take off into the wild blue yonder but they are following their hearts. Please visit their blog often to keep up with them. They are in Milan Italy at this moment. Here is their last American post before they left. We pray daily for their safety and for the fulfillment of their dreams. We love you Justin and Alyssa! Godspeed!
A year ago, when someone would say about our trip, “That must be a lot of work!” I would reply, “It’s nothing – you just have to decide to do it!”
Six months ago, when someone would say about our trip, “I can’t imagine having the guts to do what you’re doing!” I would reply, “I’m not sure about the guts, but it takes a lot of work to sell everything, and preparation beyond what I had ever imagined!”
Today, if you said anything about our trip being wonderful, crazy, scary or difficult I would be able to make only one reply: There is no amount of preparation that can brace you for the way your heart feels when you drive away from everything and everyone you know and love.
We left Chicago for good last week. We’ll visit, but we don’t plan to move back when we return.
Living anywhere for over a decade means building yourself a fortress – fragments shored against all harm – of people who will prop you up when you need it and point and laugh at you when you absolutely deserve it.
I will miss our friends: the newlyweds, just back from Berlin where he studied to be a brewmaster and her with the infectious laugh and incredible ability to make children sing; the sommelier and her wife who have Fleetwood Mac dance parties in their living room and spontaneous, blindfolded spice-taste-tests during dinner; the stay-at-home dad, his equally brilliant wife – and their daughter who runs with her arms stretched behind her as if waiting to fly; the dozens of people who have made our lives in Chicago a jambalaya rather than a consommé…
But I will miss Chicago herself as well – the most beautiful girl in the pageant who doesn’t win because her nail polish is chipped and her hair is too frizzy and her voice is just scratchy enough to turn off the people who prefer clear singing.
My scrappy, broad-shouldered runner-up who, despite all odds, has settled comfortably in my heart.
Of course this sadness is tempered with the excitement of an adventure and the joy that comes from leaping into anything with both feet.
And when I am missing Chicago the most I will remember that always – no matter where in the world I am – I can return, hang up my hat again and be home.