Well here I am now, living in sunny Florida, OK it's not too warm right now, but when I tell my kids the temperature here, all they seem to say is Grrrrrrr!!!
They as you may have guessed still live in England, although one of them, my youngest, has applied to live here too. He hopefully should be here by the summertime.
So, how did I end up here I hear you ask... well it's a 'long and winding road' story but here it is. well as far as I can manage I will shorten it.
2003 Bad year for me in the most part, was getting divorced in the U.K. (a bad divorce) my ex used to scream, money,money, money! Great huh? Is that typical? hummm... Well add to that the fact that my mum had cancer and I was pretty sure it wasn't going to be a good ending, (and it wasn't). I spent pretty much all of my free time travelling to Chelsea in London to be with her. I was spending as much money on fuel as I was on parking charges!
Day in, day out, I was doing what a son should do, and should want to do, and that was being with my mum. My sister had lived in Arizona for 20 years by then, so things were not only hard for her as she has 4 kids, but also she relied on me for contact and information.
Anyway... early March 2003 we knew that time was running out. my sister made arrangements to fly over, she stayed as long as she could and then, of course, had to go home. My mum was in a hospice ward in Chelsea for about 3 weeks, and then she was moved to another hospice nearer her home. (Still about 30 miles away though).
Here I stayed 24/7 for 12 days until she died in my arms one morning at 9.05am 4/15/03.
My sister had also returned from the U.S. for a few days to be with her. The thing was, she had to return to the U.S. 23 hours before my mum died. I remember waving her goodbye and us both being in tears.
Here I was, heartbroken, and pretty much alone. Yes of course I had my children, but they were 15 and 13 at the time. I think at that age you find it pretty hard to understand the enormity of it all. But in all truth, they, and my wife (present) are my best friends.
I was the only dad in the road the children (and I don't mean just mine) would ask to come out to play. We played football (soccer to you) lol, in the street regularly.
I digress..... After my mum died I felt the need to get out there. I hadn't really done anything much for a long time. My time had been used to be there for my mum.
I joined a DATING SITE!!!!! My word. I had never seen anyhting like it. Women were clamouring to speak to me and meet me. It was overwhelming. It was also a good ego boost! i needed it!
I went out on a date, met this woman who looked pretty WOW in her photos, and pretty OK in real life, and dated her for a couple of weeks. I realized she wasn't for me, so I told her and that was it. I have always been the same, even when I was younger, if i knew I didn't want to be with someone in the long term, I got out, by staying I might have missed the one for me.
So now I had 'broken my duck'. I had met someone, and I had other women wanting to meet me. Hummmm now how should I go about this? I met another woman, thought she seemed a bit unbalanced, and moved on again.
Multiple dates later, I had met a woman who was pretty, clever but totally mad!!! She almost began stalking me! Thank the lord she lived 60 miles away. She called me every day. She was nice enough, but I'm a pretty level headed bloke and knew I couldn't be with someone like her. I made friends along the way, women I liked and wanted to stay in touch with, but knew it wouldn't ever be more than friends. I was honest with them, and they were fine with that. We were also each others support network, that was such an amazing thing to have.
So to cut a long story short (OK it's not that short). in 8 months i dated 39 women! Sounds bad doesn't it? But 39 women it was (yes I counted).
Date number 40. I had seen this woman online once before but she had disappeared for a while. Suddenly, there she was back again. I said hi, we chatted online for a while, and she said we'd chat later in the week. 3 days later, here she was again, she noticed me first, and she said hi! That was nice. We chatted on the dating site for a while, then switched to MSN, and four hours later she said to me.... can we talk on the phone please? I said sure. We talked for 4 hours on the phone, she said later on, she wanted to check I didn't have a 'squeaky voice'!
We arranged to meet, and we did, and WOW!!!!! 40 dates later, and here I was, I'd found someone I really liked!!! I just hoped she liked me as much! I hope she did, and still does, because we got married in 2005!!!
Going back to the beginning, how did I end up here.... well it turned out that my wife had an English mum, who married a USMC officer she had met in Germany. They in turn, moved to the states, and my wife was born in Camp LeJeune NC. She sounds to all intents and purposes English, as she lived in the UK for 30 years, her parents had divorced many years previously, but you can take the girl out of America, but not America out of the girl, and she wanted to 'come home'. i love her, and I want to make her happy. So move we did. I sold my house, my business and after I sorted my immigration papers. we flew over.
We landed in Miami, we drove up the East coast then down the West coast and decided finally that we liked Bradenton very much, and returned here.
We've been here 10 months now and love it. We have made many friends. My wife loves her job (arranging health care) and I have trained as a realtor.
Looking back to when I met her, I never imagined living here. But live here I do, and I don't regret it!
All there is left to do now is to be successful here. I won't shirk hard work, I need to make money obviously, I work for a supportive broker in Commercial Real Estate, now I need to make more contacts.
If this mini biography has interested you, or if you have any questions, please feel free to comment. I'd be pleased to hear from you!
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy day to read this!