As this posts I will be on my second full day in the UK with the musician.
I know it is really a splurge of a thing to do…but I’m not regretting spending the money or the time. If I’ve learned anything in these past 2 1/2 years since Mike died it’s that life is short, grab ahold of what you can, while you can…and also, how absolutely important it is to have things to look forward to. For a long time I really thought I would never experience that sensation any longer now that Mike was gone from my physical life. So I have relished the time leading up to this trip almost as much as the actual trip.
At the last minute we decided to scratch the rental car and get a rail pass. I was stressed about all the driving we had planned, and this takes a huge load off. We had thought it would be so much more expensive but it turns out when you factor in the price of gas, it will kind of even out. I love trains…I traveled quite a bit around Europe that way as a kid and have fond memories. Hopefully it will be just as much fun as a grown up. But all the time, as you might imagine, I am wishing that Mike and I had gone on journeys like this together…
I am hoping to manage a visit with Tricia, one of the other bloggers here at Widow’s Voice, who lives in England in an area we plan to pass through. If it can be managed I imagine it will be a meeting we will not soon forget. With all our shared grief, a widowed friendship is among the strongest, I have found. Even if we are otherwise strangers that common ground usually begets an immediate understanding and compassion.
We shall see how it all turns out with timing and locations. We have castles and museums on the wish list, a visit with the musician’s mother for sure…as long as I get my fill of strolls in a few quaint town centers I will be satisfied. I’m really just happiest just sitting at a cafe with a glass of wine soaking up the history and watching people walk by. Maybe that’s just the American in me.
It has a lot to do with the idea of getting away as well. Tricia wrote here a week or two ago about her feelings about living in England now that Stan was gone, her being an American. I have had much the same thoughts out here in Hawaii. It is far from a lot of my family…it was a place Mike wanted to move to…his loss has definitely changed the energy and feel of the place for me. I think a lot about whether I will stay. I really don’t know. In many ways it is home, now. I love the people, and the slow, easy pace of life…but is it really me? Is it someplace I can imagine living out perhaps decades of my own life? It’s part of the reason I do feel pulled to travel, now that he is gone. Just to test the waters, perhaps, just to spend time in other corners of the world to see how it feels being away from this admittedly special place.
Right now my future seems like a blank page in an unwritten book. And as of yet I am not feeling forced to make any decisions. But the situation with my house and its unaffordable mortgage might do that. I am still in the middle of negotiations with the silly bank which has really no idea who I am or what paperwork I’ve already sent them…repeatedly.
One day at a time. It’s pretty much all I can do.
Keep your fingers crossed that all goes swimmingly here across the pond for us.