Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

June 24, 2012

What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been (oh come on, you knew I'd use that eventually)

It's hard to believe that a whole year has gone by since I left my home in Washington and embarked on my new journey with the love of my life.  June 23rd I moved out of the house.....the last image I had was the heartbreaking scene of Sagan looking out the front window as Pepper and I drove away.  I couldn't stop weeping.  The memory of it still makes me choke up, even though Sagie is safely on the east coast with me now, and thriving too I might add.  But back then, I wasn't sure that I'd see him ever again, although there was always a glimmer of hope; I never truly let myself believe I wouldn't see him again.  All my stuff was in a POD, which had been picked up the afternoon of the 23rd, and Pepper & I were now living out of suitcases.

I've been going through some weird stuff - moods and dreams/nightmares - over the past few weeks, with all these one year milestone anniversaries.  6/12 was my last sight seeing trip to Seattle, 6/15 my divorce was final, 6/16 was my last day at work, 6/17 the POD was delivered and I started loading it, 6/22 we divided the last bank account that was still open, 6/23 I moved out and it's also the anniversary of my dad's death.  What a high stress time it was, but what doesn't kill ya makes ya stronger, I guess.

And here it is, one year later already, and I spent some of those dates at mom's, walking at the Canal a couple of times, at my love's sister's house visiting his family, and taking Marsha to lunch for her birthday.  What a difference a year makes!  As for my ex-h, he is gravely ill and living in a hospice place.  It's a shame that he's come to this end, but he Just. Wouldn't. Listen.  I was lucky to get out when I did.  I hope he can find peace in his last days, and I am grateful to him for doing the right thing in letting Sagan be flown east to be with me.  

But June 24th was the day that my sweet Bear flew to Seattle to drive me home.  Talk about my knight in shining armour coming to my rescue!!

Although we consider January 7 the first of 3 anniversary dates (3/24 is the second when I visited the Cape), our life together officially started the minute I picked him up at SeaTac Airport on 6/24.  I will never forget the butterflies in my stomach that day as it draaaaaagged by, my monitoring his flight obsessively on the computer at the Extended Stay America hotel in Tukwila, my friends keeping my morale boosted on Facebook the whole day. 

Then there was the drive over to the cell phone lot at the Airport and watching every single plane coming in, my hands  & knees trembling, teeth even chattering from nerves.  Finally he called:  He was out front of the terminal.  My hands were shaking trying to get the car started and find my way to the right place.  There he was and I was just beaming ear to ear, and so was he.  It was all I could do to keep from bursting into tears of relief. OMG he was here!!!  Really and truly HERE, in the flesh!  It worked.  We did it. A relationship that started with a friend request on January 7th was now free to offically begin.  I was divorced, all ties to WA severed and a place was already rented on the east coast for us to come home to, all done in less than 6 months. That's why I know it was meant to be. We'd endured an intense online/phone long distance relationship for months, that was sometimes challenging.  But it was worth it.  Every last bit of the stress and fear and excitement and planning.  

It was a bizarre thing to know my life with Brian was over and I was shutting the door on 22 years of marriage and west coast experiences.  To this day, I don't think Brian realizes that my squeeze was flying out to drive me back, because I kept it a closely guarded secret.  Extricating myself from that house and marriage took a lot of finesse and I didn't think it wise I mention that I was going to have a driver.  It was best to let him think I was embarking on this cross country drive with just Pepper.

It's been an incredible ride, this past year.  My life is so different and so awesome.  Completely done over.  Sometimes I think about life in Washington, and the west coast as a whole, and it seems like a dream.  But no more anti depressants, no more work stress, no more commuting, a partner who is crazy about me and I him, family & friends, the ocean is close by, I have both doggies, new photo ops....I've remained adhered to the no-conflict thing.  He and I continue to talk about our future together and the next step in our relationship, and we are very, very happy.  He's a special man and I'm an extremely lucky lady, and I tell him that all the time, and he always tells me how much he loves me, too.  Every time I look into his big blue eyes, I fall deeper in love with him.  We are, for all intents and purposes, husband and wife, just without the official paperwork.

We spent a blissful next day together, before hitting the road on Sunday, June 26th.  Get on I-90 east:  "Massachusetts or Bust".  It was such a great trip - perfect weather the whole way, no car problems....and very much like a honeymoon.

Over the next few days I'm gonna pay tribute the one year anniversary of our amazing cross country trip!


  1. Oh JoJo, I had no idea. Not even sure what to say other than I am THRILLED that you are happy. You've been through so much, though, (and it sounds like it's all still a challenge). But I raise my glass to happier times to you and your new love sounds like a keeper.
    Cheers to anniversaries!!!

  2. JoJo, sharing this took a lot of courage. I'm so happy that your life is so much better now...that you are finding peace...that you have found love...just everything! I hope that you have many happy years ahead of you. Here's to new beginnings. :)

  3. A whole year! It doesn't seem possible.

    Tears still come to my eyes thinking about what you went through, and the happiness I share with you about getting sweet Sagan back.

  4. I agree with what the others said for sure! So glad you are happy now - Cheers :)

  5. JoJo, I can't express how touched I was by this post more intelligently than saying, "Aw!" I'm so truly happy for you. it gives me hope that someone who endured what seems to have been a long struggle with unhappiness was at long last able to turn in around to live an authentic life. God bless you and your sweetheart and all your loved ones - may your wellness and good times last forever.
    Some Dark Romantic

  6. Good stuff - a very powerful and moving post.

  7. I am so happy for you and Russell, the doggies. You deserve the happiness and joy you have now.

  8. Thanks everyone! I know people have said I was brave to do what I did, but it was really self preservation. And I just couldn't imagine not being with Russell. He's everything to me. I didn't even realize just how unhappy and angry I was till I got the chance to start over again and be the person I always wanted to be. :D Life is great!

  9. Anonymous2:19 PM

    Very happy that things are 'settled' for you - at last :0)

  10. JoJo you sound like a lucky lady, and I am so happy for you! Those big changes in our life are always the beginning of something wonderful! It's nice to get to know you a little better, thanks for sharing.
    Everyday Inspired

  11. I am so happy you have found happiness now.


  12. Glad you are all settled and happy...can't believe it's a year already. Sad to hear about Brian.