9.13.2007

Gripping On For Dear Sweet Life....(Fasten Your Seatbelts. We're Taking Off)

How can you be emptying a house of all its contents over two months, and still find on the day before you leave that you have MORE junk to dispose of?

It's been a trying week, and this afternoon I am going to pay my respects to Mike and his family. Ironically, his funeral is tomorrow--at the same time we take off for England. There's something morbidly poetic about it, and my work colleagues have commented how much of a gap there is there now, with both of us suddenly gone. It reminds me how much the cliches ring true--to seize the day, to treasure each moment, to live each day to the full. You could be dead tomorrow. Remember to put on clean underwear.

Mike would have made every morbid and black joke available at a moment like this. He was relentless and unapologetic about finding something funny in the most dire of moments. The fact that the hospital shaved his head into a mullett when he was in a coma--that would have provided him with much fodder. His wife wants that trait remembered beyond anything else, and so those who knew him are taking care to make fun of one another as much as possible, calling one another pussies, even while we cry at the awfulness of it all.

When I arrive home, neighbors will be at our house ready to drink with us on our last night here. And then tomorrow we cram the very last of our worldy possessions into a few suitcases, and head off to the airport for a new beginning.

We leave behind us so many dear friends, and Mike's death brings home how much it is easy to not take enough notice of those around you who make you who you are. As someone far from home, the friendships I have made over the fifteen years here have been everything. I have grown up here, become an adult, a wife, a professional, and a mother.

I am British, but much more so I am from here, where I have truly lived and become who I am today.

My husband Frank and I, we take with us our two little Michiganders. Jack, who was five on Monday, and Sam who is about to turn 10 months.

Me and my boys--Off on life's next great adventure. We're fearful, we're hopeful, and we're gripping on for dear sweet life. Wish us all the best. We'll see you on the other side....

46 comments:

SquidgesMum said...

I'll have a bottle of wine waiting for you on this end, to calm your nerves. I'm assuming your a red wine kinda girl.

,

ollka said...

Oh, I wish you all best on you journey. In both in the direct and the broader sense.

gingajoy said...

red wine, and lots of it, Lindy;-)

jon deal said...

Good Luck!

And remember, it's totally OK to sedate the kids for a cross country flight. :-]

Mimi aka pz5wjj said...

Best of luck! Safe travels!

Looking forward to hearing more from across the pond...

verybadcat said...

Have a safe trip! Will future blog posts be written with a British accent? ;-)

Marmite Breath said...

I'm crying, Joy. Very happy for you.

I must wipe snot and tears off this keyboard and stop being such a total pussy.

b*babbler said...

Best of luck on our journey.

Can't wait to hear the posts from the newest chapter of your story.

And yes, red wine does cure all :)

Julie Pippert said...

Very touching; such a bigger goodbye than you expected.

Good luck...godspeed.

Julie
Using My Words

flutter said...

Oh I cannot wait to hear about your latest adventures. Travel safe

doow said...

Good luck, good luck, good luck and good luck! Queen and country are girding their loins for your arrival on this side of the Atlantic. Cucumber sandwiches have been made, there's some controversy about Paddington and squeezy Marmite in the news, the Archers had a topical insert last night, my pumpkins are big and all red telephone boxes and black cabs are being polished as I type.

Have a very safe journey. Please hand in your z's before you board the plane. You may collect your s's and u's once you clear customs in the UK.

Heather B. said...

I have this strange feeling that things will turn out great for you and your family.

Good luck!

Sometimes I Wonder (previously Suburban Mum) said...

Good luck with the journey and welcome back to the UK for when you get here!

SquidgesMum said...

commenting on a comment. Doow, that is the best comment I have ever read. I even read it out loud to my other half.

MsPrufrock said...

Good luck. I hope you are greeted with some quality English weather!

Busy Mom said...

Good luck to you!!

Lawyer Mama said...

Good luck & enjoy the ride!

slouching mom said...

I wish you the safest, most noneventful journey, Joy, Frank, Jack, and Sam!

cinnamon gurl said...

All the best!!!

(And you have great taste in names...)

So sorry for your friend's passing. Your posts make me sad for not having known him.

mothergoosemouse said...

Missing you already. Be safe and please find an Internet cafe where you can drop us a quick line if only to confirm that all's well.

(I was a worrywart long before I became a parent.)

Motherhood Uncensored said...

YAY. Can't wait to hear all about it.

Safe travels, friend!

dana said...

Good luck, fly safe, and I can't wait to read what you write of England! -hugs-

Birchsprite said...

Safe journey

Mrs. Chicky said...

I'm sure Michigan will miss you dearly.

Safe travels!

BOSSY said...

Bossy misses you already. America can't afford to lose a witty one such as yourself.

Anonymous said...

So, hung over from drinking the single malt I donated to the cause last night? ;)

Safe journey!

Send me a Midget if you can find one!

Tere said...

Have a safe journey!!! Can't wait to hear from you when you settle in!

michelle/weaker vessel said...

Godspeed and bon voyage, Joy! Best of luck to you and your family. :)

metro mama said...

All the best! Good luck.

AliBlahBlah said...

Good Luck!! I spend a lot of time wondering what it'd be like to go back home after 10 years in the States - like you, becoming a mother, a professional, and for me a shock-horror triathlete.

I will be living vicariously through you. Now go and kick some Mancunian ARSE!

the end of motherhood said...

Trying to think of an Americanism to send you off with...Got it.

Happy trails...

Mom101 said...

Oh Joy, I'm so so sorry I missed your last day on US soil (stupid internet outage! grrrrr) but glad to hear you're taking it in stride. And with booze.

I look forward to hearing your adventures on the other side of the pond, and turning the late night email sessions into 5pm email sessions, Eastern Standard Time.

Huge wet sloppy kisses.

And send me some Mint Aeros.

ozma said...

Things in my life are crazy in so many ways. And I even doubt whether it is metaphysically possible to enjoy the moment.

Recently, I decided to enjoy it, to enjoy every sucky moment I have right now. Because things could be so much worse.

I HOPE IT GOES WELL. You are my hero. Please write a book about (a) How to be brave and upend your life and leave behind the familiar and (b) How to move to another country with two kids. Oh, and you can add 'how to find a job with a Ph.D. while you are at it.'

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Wishing you safe travels with happy kids!

Bon said...

i hope you landed safely and are finding your feet, Joy, amidst all the mixed feelings and sorrow and anticipation.

and i hope Lindy's red wine was plentiful. looking forward to the new stories from your new old land.

Eleanor said...

Sooooo glad we're going to be on the same side of the Atlantic now m'dear. It really does make much more sense this way.

Glennia said...

Good luck to you, but I don't think you'll need it. You have your boys and your terrific spirit. That's all you need to succeed wherever you go. Safe journey to you and yours.

Bobita~ said...

Best of luck. The VERY best.

moosh in indy. said...

We're only a blog away...

sweetney said...

miss you. please come back soon. xo

karrie said...

I'm so sorry about your friend. The world needs more mean-spirited people with big hearts.

How sucky.

Sandra said...

Thinking of you and hoping your journey is a safe one.

I am so very sorry to hear about your friend. I wept reading that post (that I am just now getting caught up on).

We look forward to hearing alllll about your new adventure Joy.
xoxo

Jozet said...

Bon voyage!

Can't wait to "see" you again!

Oh, The Joys said...

Joy,
I'm so sorry to hear about Mike. My thoughts are with you - and his boys.

May your journey keep you safe and may you soon bring us tales of milk chocolate hob nobs and tea.

xo,
OTJ

Mocha said...

So very strange that you're leaving and how much I'll miss you. Why is that? Perhaps because we're only a state away from each other...

Wishing you the best. Also wishing you the foresight to tell me months in advance when you'll be back in the states so I can make an effort to meet up with you again.

xo

Tor said...

Knowing fully well you disabled comments in your previous post for a reason... I'd like to say fuck you, I'm still gonna comment here. Fat load of good it did you.

Seriously, though, thank you for writing that. Of all the over-wrought obituaries that made him sound like he was his work and a wake that I thought was... sanitary to say the least, I really appreciate what you wrote about Mike.

That was real, that's how he was, and having read that really helps.