Eight Years Later

On this day in 2007, the small Wilcox clan relocated to San Diego—to be closer to my father-in-law, who turns 94 in about two months. We sacrificed much, and gained some, too, by leaving the Washington, D.C area. Daisy, as seen in one of her last romps in our backyard, is among the many things precious we left behind. I still miss that rabbit, which surely has exhausted her lifespan by now.

If I could redo any part of my life, we would stay somewhere around Washington and never move out West. The community left there, we never really regained here. My daughter’s burgeoning ice skating career collapsed with the loss of coach and friends. While she found other mates at San Diego High School and San Diego State University, she left behind more—as did my wife Annie and I. 

Regret isn’t the word that describes how I feel this anniversary, for San Diego offers many benefits. The weather is lovely. Annie misses the four seasons, but I say we have three: Early summer, mid summer, and late summer. She’s right; we have no snow, though. As pleasant as the climate may be, we are cultural misfits. I demand directness, and Californians are anything but. There is too much concern about how people feel. I’ll take New Yorker frankness any day. Every day.

Today, strangely, I think of our two bunnies and stray cat; he adopted us soon after we moved into our Kensington, Md. home in January 1998. Neil Young song “Long May You Run” comes to mind whenever I think of the animals:

We’ve been through some things together
With trunks of memories still to come
We found things to do in stormy weather
Long may you run

Long may you run
Long may you run
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run

Some day my journey will be home. Daisy won’t be there, but her spirit follows.