I’m a bit in denial, even as I sit here surrounded by half-packed boxes. After 5 1/2 years of Irish adventures, my family and I are moving back to the USA on the 10th of September, just 30 days away.
It has been a bit crazy, trying to plan out the whens and hows, and I am desperate to cross things off a list of endless details that must be organised. But, deep down, I know this is going to be a lot harder than merely getting to the airport on time or finding the right car when we get there. It’s going to be really, really difficult to leave.
People keep asking me if I’m excited, and yes, of course I am! In my stacks of lists, there is one near the top for the first precious groceries I will buy when I’m settled back in Indiana – it includes things like cornmeal, applesauce, spicy salsa, Italian sausage and coffee-flavored ice cream. I can’t wait to see my friends and family again, and introduce them to my kids. And I’m really looking forward to making a fresh start and building a new life with (hopefully) more promise.
But Ireland has been a very special place for us, for me, as well. I don’t think I can actually put into words all the moments and places and people who have forever stamped this country on my heart. And really, I’ll forever be a transplant here – Ireland was never really “mine.” But there are bits and pieces of her I will carry with me from now until we return, which will hopefully be soon and often.
Friends and neighbours have been commenting on how “ah, so now you’re going home again,” but I don’t exactly feel that is true. If I’m completely honest, Drogheda never did feel absolutely like home to these restless bones, but I don’t feel like, in going back to the States, we will automatically slide into a comfortable sense of “home” there, either. But what I do hope for is that we can create our own home, a Kelly home, whatever that means and wherever that ends up being.
Whatever happens, and in spite of any inconveniences, dramas or hilarity that has gone on here, I am so glad I’ve lived in Ireland. I know, looking back, that it has changed me a great deal, and perhaps more importantly, it’s changed how I view the world around me.
Still – I have 30 more days to enjoy it. I’ll try to just savor that and not worry about what’s next too much.