Back to Reality

A few days ago, Tom was told that this year would be his last in Tokyo and that it was time to go home.  That discussion was inevitable – we knew we wouldn’t settle down and retire in Japan, it’s just that we didn’t expect it so soon.  But we should have.  We came to Tokyo in 2008 on a 3 year visa and when we leave in June we will have had 4 glorious years living in Tokyo.  They certainly haven’t been all fun and games as all of you know the months after 3/11 were not easy for anyone living here but the experience was one that has changed my life and the lives of everyone in my family.  It’s amazing to me that both my sons will have graduated from the American School in Japan – they will be connected to this place for the rest of their lives.  And the Japanese culture, people and way of life are woven into the fabric of my daughters’ beings.  They are forever changed for having “grown up” here in this safe and culturally rich environment, where they have been given the freedom to explore and adventure on their own.  I’m sad that in a way that sense of independence will have to be tamped down on our return home. You just can’t wander around NYC at the age of 12.  So 2011 comes to a close with reflection on our time in Japan and thoughts of the future in America and with sadness and a sense of loss as well.  We are excited for all our wonderful family and friends we will return to but it also means saying goodbye to the people who have become like family here.  We will take them all back with us, packed in our suitcase, represented in the photos we took, the treasures we purchased, the places we visited and the times we we pulled each other through.  Leaving is like ripping off a bandage but returning is like the wound that suddenly heals when exposed to the right elements.  Here’s to new beginnings in 2012.

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4 thoughts on “Back to Reality

  1. Brought tears to my eyes. Although I basically said Goodbye to you in the summer, I always thought you are so close, I will come and visit you often and you can come and visit me….but now you will be so far away. Not too far to visit, I will have to stop in NY on my way to Boston, so I will make it a point to see. All the best Lisa, I will see you before you leave. xoxooxo

  2. So your time is almost up there too Lisa. When we left in August it was indeed like someone ripping out my heart, and I think it will always be in Japan. The transition is not an easy road, but then you have been down it before, so you should know what to expect, for us, I know it is going to take a long time, every little thing is compared to our life in Japan. Enjoy the next 6 months, relish every moment, explore new horizons there, in short, make the bloody most of it girl!

  3. There are some people who live their life so fully, every moment — That is always the way I think of you. You grabbed on with two hands from the moment you arrived in Tokyo and lived it all to the fullest. We will miss you very much! But lots of shopping to do in the meantime!

  4. You did grab the bull by the horns and have had an incredible ride – you’ve had an unbelievably positive impact on the community and have done so much in such a short amount of time. It’s hard to imagine Tokyo without you, Tom and the kids. The good news is that the world is a lot smaller than it used to be and there’s no doubt that you will keep in touch with everyone who has truly touched your life – you have more energy than most groups of ten … I can’t wait to see you in action during your last six months in Tokyo!

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