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The End of Life in Chicago

Four years ago I made a decision that completely changed my life. I was on Cape Cod for my grandmother's funeral and instead of flying home to Los Angeles afterwards like I was supposed to, I changed my flight on a whim so that I could stop in Chicago and meet a guy named Greg Boose.

Greg and I had been emailing and talking on the phone for a couple of months, ever since we both started writing for TNB. He'd been pushing for us to meet in person but I'd turned him down over and over. Something in me shifted that weekend though. I vividly remember lying in the hammock in my aunt's backyard on Cape Cod and thinking about my life and about all the wonderful things that had come into it.

It finally dawned on me that Greg was surely one of those wonderful things and that, before it was too late, perhaps I should honor that.

It was Memorial Day weekend and beachgoers drifted past me on their way to the beach. I took out my cell phone and texted this guy Greg that I didn't really know.

"What if I change my flight and stop in Chicago tomorrow?"

Hardly a minute went by before my phone beeped with his response.

"Yes. Please. Do it."

The next morning I got on a flight to a city I'd never been to and a man I'd never met.

When I landed at O'Hare I texted him.

"Just landed," I said.

"I'm in baggage claim," he replied.

"I'm nervous," I said.

"You'll be fine," he wrote back.

And I was. Better than fine, in fact. The moment I met Greg at the JetBlue baggage claim at O'Hare airport I knew I would marry him.

Four years later I am sitting in the empty living room of our first shared home on the eve before we move and it feels like a thousand years, not just four, have passed.

We are about to embark on a new adventure. Me, Greg and our beautiful daughter Veronica.

We have four solid years of being us, four years of love and light and so many friends. There have been parties galore, blizzards, fancy restaurant openings, runs by the lake and quiet afternoons on the deck listening to the ducks. Four years of happiness and warmth and a love that has filled in all the dark places I thought I would never be free of.

Chicago, you will always be a part of my heart.

California, I'm coming home. And bringing a couple of people with me.

This is the last post on my Life in Chicago blog, but don't worry — a whole new chapter is about to begin.

Birthday photo
 

16 comments

16 Comments

  • Posted May 29, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Safe travels to you all and I’ll be seeing you soon in sunny So Cal! xoxo

  • Posted May 29, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    we are waiting for you to come home, claire. come on home. and bring greg and v. come home…!

  • Posted May 29, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful story! I know you and your cute family will have many more fun adventures and experiences ahead. I hope to read about them through your wonderful writing point of view. Life should be about wonderful things and honoring them. I wish you the very best in your LA life. You’re a very special person, and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet you–if only briefly. You made an impression that will not soon be forgotten. xoxo.

  • Liz
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    This post brought tears to my eyes! I’ve always loved the saying “change one thing, change everything.” Have a safe trip home and I can’t wait to read the next chapter. :)

  • Posted May 30, 2011 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Such a beautiful post. I’ve so enjoyed reading about your life in Chicago. Thank you for sharing and I can’t wait to see how your next chapter unfolds. It’s funny – I’m returning home to Chicago soon from England – I feel the same way about Chicago as you do about L.A.. I understand what you mean about coming ‘home’. It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it? And how cool that you get to take some very special people with you. Safe travels and can’t wait to hear about your California adventures.

  • Posted May 30, 2011 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    Good luck for your moving and settling in CA, Claire!

  • Ellie
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    This post, like all of your posts, was so beautifully written. What an awesome story. Best wishes for a safe and drama-free journey back to California. I can’t wait to read about what’s to come :)

  • Wendy
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    What a lovely ending to Life in Chicago. Good luck in LA. Can not wait to read all about your new adventures!

  • francesca
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    YayYayYay!!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  • Carroll
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Adventure!
    Happy trails to you, stay safe and have fun along the way :-)

  • Emma
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Hey Claire, good luck, I recall all the blogs you did when you up and moved – myself I also did a complete life change by moving but unlike you I won’t be going back, I wonder if anything will happen again though, something life changing! Take care, cannot wait to see more blogs back in LA style and of course getting hold of your book here when it comes out.

  • Kristine Hansen
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Sad that soon you will no longer live in my neighboring city but California is in your heart — so glad you are returning with family in tow. I will definitely let you know if my travels take me to Southern California any time soon. And did you order up this sunny weather? Fitting for your last day!

  • Aisha
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE this post. Thank you for sharing about meeting Greg. You have been through a lot and deserve happiness.

  • Chris
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    This post is why I love your blog! You are honest and tell your story. I’ll miss Life in Chicago but I look forward to your new adventures. Good luck with the move and please let us know where your new blog is going to be!!

  • Caro
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    This post made me cry, but more importantly it is encouraging me to be brave and seek out my path. So glad I’ve discovered your blog.

  • Holly
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Tearing up over here! Love you guys- have a wonderful journey!!!

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