I was feeling off the last couple of weeks and I didn’t know why. Yes, there is a massive change on the horizon of my life, but I am processing that methodically. This was something else… Then it hit me when I posted the photo of me with my father for Cee’s Black and White Challenge last week —it’s been ten years since I lost him. It was February of 2009.
I was blessed to be a beloved daughter, and Papa was my first hero. I called him Papa instead of Dad or Daddy —his choice, he wanted to be different. He was a story-teller, too. I marvel at what a vivid imagination he had. He made up a whole series of adventures involving our neighbor’s cat: Mopsy, and another one with a little old man and a cuckoo clock that always saved the day. And most of the time, he made them up on demand: “Tell me a story, Papa!” I remember traveling in Scotland with my parents when I was about six years old and passing a desolate stretch of land with these strange formations: bigger than mounds, smaller than hills. As we drove along, Papa made up a story about how it was a “Giant’s Graveyard” and the events that led to all the giants dying. Alright, that’s pretty morbid, I suppose, but I remember being completely engrossed in the story and begging for more. Oh, how I wish I’d recorded some of those wonderful tales he created for me when I was little.
He didn’t live long enough to see me become a writer. He would have loved knowing that he passed that ‘gift’ on to me. It’s just one of the many ways that I am my father’s daughter.
I’m getting to the point now where everything I do is “the last” one I will do in America. My last Super Bowl, my last spring, seeing my doctor and dentist for the last time. I’m probably down to my final three hair appointments before we leave. You might remember that my stylist was also the one who encouraged me to write before I started.
So far, I haven’t been feeling the pangs of sorrow for these “lasts” until this weekend. I’m in the last season of shows at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia. It’s the oldest continuously operating theater in the entire country, founded in 1809. I’ve had season tickets for the past 15 years with two of my girlfriends. There are 2 more shows to go and that will be the last for me. They will find someone to take my place next year.
As I stood at the counter of the gift shop in the theater lobby on Sunday, buying myself a little something by which to remember the theater, I actually welled up with tears. I have loved this place, loved these shows, Broadway productions: the singing, the dancing and the serious plays. Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Oscar Wild, Arthur Miller, Rogers and Hammerstein and Lin Manuel Miranda…
I hope I find a new theater in Galway. I’m sure I will. And I hope I get as attached as I am to the Walnut.
Photos courtesy Philadelphia NBC 10, Neals Paper, and The Delco Times.
I’ve alluded to a big move in my future. It was the deciding factor in hanging up my chiropractic license earlier this year. I hesitated to let the news out until it was official but now it is, so…
I’m moving to Ireland in the spring!
My husband’s company has a facility in Galway and he goes over for work pretty regularly. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to tag along on most of those trips, for a total of 8 times over 10 years. Needless to say, I fell in love with the place, so when an opportunity arose for H to take a job in Galway, we began making plans.
I’m getting rid of everything except books, clothes and a few personal mementos. My house will go up for sale after the first of the year and I already sold my car. Today I leave for Galway with my mother to check out potential houses and apartments in areas outside the city. She is thinking about joining us, if she can find something suitable for seniors (she’s 86) and not far from where we plan to settle.
This will be only my second time driving on the left side of the road, since our car rentals thus far have been booked through the company so only H can drive. But I will have to get used to it eventually so might as well start right away. Am I nervous? Who me?
I’m not sure yet what kind of work I will do when we get here. I’ve got an odd situation: I’m not lacking education with a bachelor’s degree and my doctor’s degree, but I have such a limited set of skills (at least on paper) that I am concerned that I won’t qualify for anything more than an entry level position somewhere. Getting my chiropractic license and opening a practice over here is out of the question. I don’t have the zeal for starting from scratch at this stage of the game. On the other hand, chasing the brass ring of writing and maybe selling some of my art online or locally is a possibility. I keep (half) joking that I will paint and sketch scenes around Galway and sell them to the American tourists in the summer! I already get confused for a local till I open my mouth and between now and then I’ll be practicing my accent.
In the meantime, things are hectic and exciting (but stressful) so if I seen absent and don’t post or visit as regularly, you will know why!