Home is where the heart is

I decided to take a vacation last week…my first week off from the blog in almost a year! The move…as well as four airports (twice each!) in a week’s time…finally caught up to me.  After spending a full week in my new Chicago apartment – trying to get as settled as I could in that short period of time – I flew back to New Jersey.

My sister was getting married in Ireland. It was an event I wouldn’t miss. When I booked the flight in January, it only made sense to fly out of JFK. That still worked out well because my daughter was back in New Jersey. And during my 30-hour layover, I was able to reconnect with a few friends with whom I hadn’t exchanged proper farewells before I left the first time. That was nice.

From the very first time I traveled to Ireland to meet my (biological) mother and some family members over 20 years ago, they referred to it as “coming home.” This time was no different. Except that this time, something very special happened. We were all there! I am (biologically) one of Teresa McElroy’s thirteen children. Because my older brother and I had been adopted out – and I all the way to America (read about that here) – this was the first time that all of us were in the same place at the same time. Ever! Kudos to my sister, Jacqueline, for staying on everyone’s good side so this could happen.

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Good morning. Galway Bay. Salthill, Galway City, County Galway. July 2018.

My daughter and I basically spent the weekend in Ireland, flying back from SSN to JFK on Monday. Another overnight layover in New Jersey, a flight from EWR to ORD and here I am back in Chicago (after spending four days with me, my daughter is back in New Jersey already because of plans with friends and a paying job).

So, four airports, two times each in less than a week. A small price to pay for time with family and time with friends. Now, embracing my new home in Chicago (with the love of my life and my daughter – soon to be here fulltime), pieces of my heart remain in New Jersey with special friends and cherished memories. Another piece of my heart has remained in Ireland all my life only growing bigger as I create memories with my family there.  If home is where the heart is, I am fortunate to have three places I can rightfully call home.

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Goodnight. Lake Michigan. Chicago, Illinois. July 2018.

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My running through all this has been sporadic. In spite of the lack of training, I did complete the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon (my 44thHalf!) this past weekend and will provide a review in next week’s blog.

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