Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Last post of the sabbatical
We walked into Oxford for lunch today and all got a bit wistful about leaving. We're ready to go but we dearly love Oxford and we'll miss it. Ally and Liv went back to school one last time to say goodbye, turn in some books. It felt good to them to reconnect briefly with these generous kids who extended themselves and made them feel part of something here. I am very thankful to those sassy and boisterous Cherwell children who took good care of my girls.
I'm posting one last picture from the memorial fountain for Princess Diana in Hyde Park. It was one of the first photos I took in England, taken before Chip's dad passed away. As our time here has been somewhat defined and shaped by this loss, it feels good to end our journey on a memorial note. Larry had a finesse for slowly extracting key information from Olivia and Allison through well appointed questions during one of their television shows or over a snack at the kitchen counter. He'd take his time, amass his facts and put all the pieces of the puzzle together for himself (and us) later. It was very reassuring to get the report card from Grandpa that all was well with the girls. I don't go much for the finesse approach because it takes patience. I'm more of a Guantanamo/Spanish Inquistion type. I am keen to know what Olivia and Ally will reflect upon when they return home, what things will stand out for them, what things they will miss, etc. But I think I'll take a lesson from the master....take a breath, give everyone some space and let things settle before trying to take everyone's emotional temperature upon wheels down in O'Hare. We'll see how I do.
Where does my blog go from here? Will I keep going? I haven't a clue. The computer cord is fried and frayed and there's no juice left so I have to sign off from England for the last time. Thanks to all who've read because it kept me good company when I was lonely, knowing you were reading.