In my last blog, I talked about how life-changing my trip to the DR was. I said I’d explain in another post, so here we are!
Not to sound too “eat, love, pray”ey, but this trip was seriously what my spirit, my heart, and my mind needed. Today an announcement was made to the Rescue volunteers and followers, that I am moving.
To the Dominican Republic.
Well, here. Just read.
Before I went, I knew I was going to see if it was a good fit for me and my work style. I knew they needed someone like me and I needed someone like them. And by the time I arrived home, I announced to my family that I was moving. In June.
How? Huh? What the…Huh? No…that’s not your reaction. That’s MINE. Every day! I can’t believe how I came to be here in this place at this moment, how it all came to be. How stars have been aligning for years to get to this very moment. Something happened to me out there. I had a couple of hard core panic attacks of course…but around the third day, I was at the ocean and a feeling washed over me. I am alive. I’m still alive. I didn’t die. I will never be okay without him, and I’ll never be okay that he’s gone. But I am disgracing everything Michael and I stood for, curling up and crying and giving up. The legacy he and I created for saving animals and following our hearts and being proud of who we were and what we did…I owe us more than that. I’m alive. I have no deep roots with my family except my daughter. I have wonderful friendships that will sustain the distance. I don’t have to close or give up on GK because I’ve found a way to take it with me. It’s time for me to start my life without his shadow, without people feeling sorry for me, without the countless messages I STILL get from people who “just don’t know what to say”. It’s time for me to be Lisa, not Michael’s widow.
I owe ME that. This isn’t about owing him, or doing his memory justice. I’m secure in that and in our love transcending this lifetime. I know he is proud of and happy for me. So this wasn’t about doing his memory justice. It was about being authentic and true to me and to us. It was about doing what I love in a place I love with people who are so kind and welcoming. It’s a dream come true.
So, now my focus turns to packing, purging, and a moving sale. My daughter and a roommate are staying in my house for a year and then I will decide if it’s time to sell or not. My garage is filling with things to get rid of.
The house I’ll be living in is really adorable and very small. That, plus the cost of shipping container, etc – and I’ve decided for the most part to sell everything. I’ll take the things with me that matter, but a houseful of things will not be making the trip with me. I think it’s going to be really good for me and an interesting exercise in what I really need. It will just be me and my four girls! I hope they like the beach.
I hate how I got here. I hate WHY moving out of the country is a cool option for me. I hate what I have been through. And now, I’m ending up on a beautiful island doing the work I love. It’s hard NOT to feel grateful, and guilty and sad all at once.
In other news, I FINALLY got my cremain tattoo today. I’m SO in love with it. LOVE it so much. I have another session booked before I move to add to it and make the tree spread out a little more and add some colored leaves, maybe a couple of birds.
His ashes are in every aspect of the tree: The roots, trunk, branches, and leaves. It was an overwhelming experience for me. Besides being immensely painful, dang! it was also a rite of passage. It was something I’ve been dreaming of for so long now and to see it come to life, I can’t explain it. I can’t explain the comfort I get knowing his ashes are here with me. I had an amazing tattoo artist that was so kind and understanding. She knew this was a big deal and she was just so respectful.
So, a couple of dreams come true. A future on an island saving animals. A beautiful tattoo. All in my life because I lost the love of my life. I don’t understand. I’d give it all back for more time with him. And while I am alive, I’ll never be the same. All I can do is try my best to navigate without him and hope I’m making the right choices. All I can do is USE my life to do the most good I can. And I’m rescuing. Maybe even rescued. I have hope and excitement and adrenaline and love in my heart to give.
I’ve always had a good gut instinct and a sense of adventure. I’ve lived in Colorado, California, Minnesota, and now the Dominican. If nothing else, it makes for an interesting life story.
More as we go along.