This is the end, Beautiful friend.

I know — it’s a little dramatic.
From November 7, 2010

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes…again

The End” by The Doors

Greetings, Readers.

This coming week marks one year from the date I last posted on An Alien Parisienne. This month marks the fifth anniversary from my very first visit to Paris, France in 2008. Today marks the end of An Alien Parisienne.

On August 1, 2012, I arrived at Denver International Airport at about one in the morning. Disoriented, and arriving late having been placed on an alternate flight because the customs line in Detroit, Michigan was too slow and several on route to Denver missed their plane, including me, my first ex-husband (“UnEx”) picked me up and drove me to the place that had been my home from 1995 to 2000 and which has since become my home again, temporarily, until I get on my feet again. (No, UnEx does not live here now, but it is a three-bedroom condo we owned together and which he still owns, renting out a room to a guy who has lived here for 10 years as well as the place where our son — my oldest —  lives since it is only a short distance from his high school.)

It’s taking me a while to find my feet. They have gone somewhat comfortably numb. I’m figuring it out, though.

I had decided in February after a couple of months of rumination that at last I would need to write a closing post for this blog, and I started composing in my head what such a post would say. I still get quite a few subscribers to the blog and also quite a bit of daily traffic to the blog — I don’t want to entirely shut it down as it still seems to have a readership. But it was realizing the significance that the month of March has played in my Paris Journey that made me think, “Hey, I need to bring some closure to this thing” and do so at this meaningful time. Interestingly, this March also marks other endings as well, and it is now wholly appropriate to write this post.

Please read on if you are interested in knowing the rest of the story, and also find out about a new blog I am starting: Do-Overs in Denver.

Père Lachaise Cemetery, March 24, 2008

Père Lachaise Cemetery, March 24, 2008

I’m having to work a little from memory as most of my journals and pocket calenders chronicling this time are still in Paris, but I can reconstruct most of it. I don’t know if any of this stuff is what you care to read, but I know I need to write it.

March 2008

Besides the Charles de Gaulle Airport, the RER B, Métro Line 5 and Paul’s apartment, the first place I saw in Paris was Père Lachaise Cemetery. It was on my “must-see” list. This was in part because of Mr. James Douglas Morrison’s grave-site, but also because in 2007 I had seen the film “Paris, je t’aime” in a Dallas movie theater, and I loved the segment entitled “Père Lachaise” with Emily Mortimer and Rufus Sewell and directed by Wes Craven, who also plays the ghost of Oscar Wilde in the film short.

Easter Week 2008, Paul and I were due to visit our mutual friend (and my best friend) Janet in Antibes — in southern France on the Côte d’Azur — on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I had arrived on Easter Sunday, the 23rd, with a flight back to Denver on Saturday the 29th as I had to be ready to jump back into the classroom on Monday morning, March 31st. I was on my Spring Break.

This left only Monday and Friday to “see Paris sights” and therefore I could only choose just a few. Besides Père Lachaise, I picked the Sacré Coeur Basilica and Shakespeare and Company. I chose the Sacré Coeur because I think it is so funny-looking that it is beautiful — I admire the fact that it looks not only like a wedding cake but also like a set of three breasts pointing high into the Parisian sky up on the hill of Montmartre. In addition, some of the coolest bands have filmed videos or set their music to videos where the Basilica is featured, but it is also the site around which the movie “Amélie” (Le fabuleaux déstin d’Amélie Poulain) takes place. Shakespeare and Company seemed like a natural place to visit because it is so fabled in the literary world, and I had heard of it long before I ever thought I might see Paris. I am a book lover, and going there was a no-brainer for me.

I remember quite clearly I did not want to see the Eiffel Tower because I thought it a little trite and clichéd. It was not until much later in May of 2009 that I at last saw the Iron Lady in all her glory, and laughed at my own silliness facing that magnificent and beautiful structure.

But it is true that my main goal was to visit Paul, confirm the love that I already felt for him in letters via email, and see the home of my best friend in the South of France.

Antibes, March 2008The Mediterranean

Antibes, March 2008
The Mediterranean Sea

I remember thinking that the blue of the sea was so remarkable.

Antibes, March 2008Sights around the town, and Paul and Karin

Antibes, March 2008
Sights around the town, and Paul and Karin (Janet, too, on the left)

My last day in Paris, Paul took me to the Sacré Coeur, Shakespeare and Company, and many places I did not know the names of until much, much later.

Sacré Coeur and Shakespeare and Company

Sacré Coeur and Shakespeare and Company

Places I did not know in Paris until much later...

Places I did not know in Paris until much later…

At the end of my visit, we parted reluctantly, and in the next two months we made plans for me to have another visit during the summer of 2008. (You can re-read this post if you would like another variation of this story.)

Paul and KarinMarch 29, 2008

Paul and Karin
March 29, 2008

May 2012

Fast-forward four years.

It is May 24, 2012, five days after my 44th birthday, and I had gotten a phone call a couple of days earlier from the US Consulate in Paris, saying that they needed to see me in person at the Consulate regarding my passport.

I figured perhaps there was something I had forgotten to fill out or something along those lines.

When I arrived, the head passport officer asked me to pick up the interphone so we could speak privately through the security glass separating us.

He said, “Are you aware you owe child support in the State of Colorado?”

I nodded and said yes.

He proceeded to tell me that not only could my name change to “Prescott” not be processed, but that the State Department was keeping my passport until I had resolved the child support arrearage in full, and that I had a limited time to do so. The passport would be denied and deactivated/revoked after 90 days without payment. If I could not resolve the debt, I would be issued a temporary passport for direct return to the United States, and then would have no passport until the debt was paid.

(If you would like to know more about this Federal Law, you can read about it here. I sure wish I would have seen this information back in 2008. I had no idea.)

And now for the missing bits of the story…

There are many things to which I have referred obliquely in this blog in part because of privacy and in part because I was worried about being direct about them (with legal repercussions and so on).

Now that I am back in the U.S., and permanently (more on that in a moment), I can now open up about those issues.

First, one of the reasons I came to Paris to stay with Paul was because my second-ex (“DeuxEx”) had removed our then almost-two year old son from our home on Sunday, October 7, 2007 after he saw me once again reading Paul’s blog (I had not been in contact with Paul since a year prior on October 6, 2006). I knew in that moment that I needed to tell DeuxEx the truth that I had been keeping from him: I was not in love with him anymore, at least that was how I felt in that moment, after months of trying to be fully back in a relationship with him. There were many things he had done that provoked my falling out of love with him and things that had happened inside of me as well, and I realized that I needed to speak the truth.

His reaction was to state, “Well then I am taking our son and going to my mother’s [more than an hour by car outside of Denver].”

I did not argue with him at the time because I was afraid of him. I was afraid of what he would do, and I thought, “I will deal with this later.”

About two weeks later, I was served with divorce papers.

The winter months of 2007-2008 were an increasingly entrenched legal tennis match, my lawyer was not really helpful to me except to say, “This guy seems really angry,” and I was so upset at the entire situation (plus working full-time in a school that later imploded with personnel and leadership divisions) that I was not able to take adequate care of myself. I was disintegrating with inner conflict, not knowing what my life held next, and feeling increasingly confused, disempowered, and afraid. In addition, my job was at risk. I was teaching at school where the reading ability of many of the freshman and sophomores was at about the 6th grade level and where gang activity (often with the parents of the students) and low family incomes made for a challenging school atmosphere. I did the best that I could in that teaching setting with these other stresses happening, but at last when there was a conflict between the school principal and vice principal who hired me and other staff and the board of directors, I was caught up in the middle of the mess.

On the wonderful side, there must have been something I did right, as I have a couple of dozen former students with whom I am in touch on Facebook, and we still comment on one another’s posts and lives. I have letters of recommendation from them and we still communicate quite a lot. I really did love the students there, and they loved me back. It was a difficult but rewarding time, and I am grateful because those students made the entire situation not only bearable but enjoyable.

However, because of the conflict among the school leadership, when that leadership resigned I knew by April of that year I would no longer have a job in Denver. I was barely affording rent and food as it was, and legal fees made a huge dent in my income. Plus, I felt my youngest son was being kept from me, purposely and in retribution, for my not wanting to be with my second husband any longer. I felt demoralized and mentally beaten down by the entire situation.

In June of 2008, when the school year was finished, I went to Paris for the summer, and thought I would try to get a job while I was there, pay child support if required (the divorce still was not final at that time), and get a hold of myself. I also felt deeply in love with Paul in that time.

I discovered after I had been in France a couple of months after returning from a trip to Canada with Paul in August that it was not possible for Americans without a special visa to live and work in France to have a job. Getting precious permission to legally live and work in France is notoriously difficult — many of the “Paris Bloggers” have written of their difficulties in doing to. This was very unfortunate as my Master’s degree is in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and I could have had my pick of jobs if I had had paperwork to do so!

So, for the next four years, I lived illegally in France (NOW do you understand an “alien parisienne”?? 😉 ), supported by Paul, who was — still is — legal to live and work there, and has been doing so for 20+ years. He did not make enough income to help me pay the child support (we barely paid the rent, in fact), and I could not work. Because I did not have a job, I could not afford to save money to re-establish myself in the U.S. either. There were many, many other complicating factors, as there often are in life, and one of them was this increasing child support debt.

Paul and I married in September 2011 not only because we wanted to keep our relationship going, but also it would have given me the right to work as of September 9, 2012. I was changing my name on my passport so I could begin the process of getting my Carte de Séjour, and at long last get a legal job in France and begin to pay off the child support as required.

And then I lost my passport.

The Past Seven Months

Fitting four years into two suitcases.

Fitting four years into two suitcases.

I guess I can sum up the past seven-and-a-half months as complicated but empowering.

I have had to represent myself pro se in a courtroom hearing, stand up for my rights as a mother in a mediation session (which was successfully negotiated!), try to reintegrate into American culture by going through reverse culture shock, and meanwhile search for jobs in a really strange hiring climate (one where no one human seems to take a résumé anymore — it is all processed through online third-party agencies who screen for “key words” and assess based only on those features). Not to mention that the U.S. economy is still a recovering one.

On the wonderful side, on February 22, 2013, I was at last reunited with my youngest son in his therapist’s office — we are undergoing court-ordered reunification therapy because I have been away from my son for so long. The one silver lining in all of this is that he is an amazing young boy, there is still a mother-son connection (which I fostered as best I could while I was away, and which has helped a lot in the reunification), and I look forward to a normalized relationship with him in the coming months.

March 11, 2013

The clouds have gathered around my relationship with Paul, however.

Because of the conditions around the amount of child support owed, I do not have a hope of having a passport again for a very long time. In addition, if I ever chose to leave Colorado and the relationship with my youngest son again, I would certainly be charged with child abandonment and my parental rights would be stripped.

I have to stay here in Colorado.

Not wanting to make any premature decisions, Paul and I have waited to have conversations about what to do until the dust settled. At last, however, I asked the question.

Paul let me know this past Monday that he does not want to live in Denver. His life is in Paris.

And so, along with this blog, five years after my initial visit to Paris and one year after my previous post, my marriage (for all intents and purposes) also ends.

The story of Paris, Paul, and myself has come to an end.

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
It hurts to set you free
But you’ll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die
This is the end.

(Thank you, Mr. Mojo Risin’.)

Do-Overs in Denver

But, life goes on. Still jobless in Denver (and I don’t exactly know if this blog post will help me, either, haha. But you know what? Either someone is going to appreciate my authenticity and writing ability or they are not. And I think that not only this post, but this entire blog is replete with both. If someone cannot recognize these two amazing qualities I have, then I don’t need to be working for that person/those people anyway).

Just like the creation of this blog happened because I needed to find a life in Paris, I now need to re-discover myself in Denver. I need to grieve my losses and then move on to better things.

I have decided to start a blog on just what this means to me, and how it is that I will have Do-Overs in Denver.

I invite you to follow me there to see just how I plan to do it.

Over and out.

Yours truly,

An Alien Parisienne, now trying to do things over in Denver

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48 thoughts on “This is the end, Beautiful friend.

  1. Brave, empowered Karin! Thank you for sharing your story, and for filling in some blank spots that your friends wondered about but didn’t want to probe, lest they be painful for you to discuss. There’s a hopefulness I feel here that’s exciting. You deserve good things and a happy, healthy life, wherever you are in the world. I miss you and look forward to following your on your new path with Do-Overs in Denver! Gros bisous. xoxo

    • Karin P

      Thank you, Aurelia!

      I have for many years wanted to be more open about exactly why it was that I was in Paris and how it was that my situation there was increasingly complicated. Because there had not been resolution to those ends, yet, I could not do it except in private conversations with people I met through the blog (like you! 🙂 ) and yet I knew that people had to wonder about some of the obvious blank spaces that were referred to in the blog.

      I miss you as well, and thank you for the well-wishes. One wonderful and amazing thing about Paris: she teaches people brave enough to live there how to be STRONG. It is the one way in which people who make a go of it, trying to live there, are so amazing. There are plenty of rewards if one can stick it out and see it through.

      And yeah, I think I will always be a “light at the end of the tunnel” kind of girl; it would take something like a planetary nuclear war to kill that in me, haha. Oh gosh, knock on wood that never happens. But I am truly walking evidence that “what does not kill you makes you stronger.” The result of that? Hope.

      Gros bisous to you, too, m’dear. And a big ole Amurrrican hug to you as well! (I miss giving la bise, in fact. American hugs and handshakes have their place, but I miss the intimacy of cheek kissing in the French way — not the fake way that some people do it. I need some Frenchies and Francophiles to visit me here so I can give la bise again!)

      xx

  2. My dear, thank you for sharing. I, for one, certainly appreciate both your authenticity and your writing ability. I am so sorry for all the heartbreak you have had to encounter but I look forward to good things with your relationship with your son and your new life in Denver. Lots of hugs from Scotland. xo

    • Karin P

      Thank you, Jennifer, for being one of the wonderful people I met along the way of my Paris Journey! Thank you for the props, too.

      Things are gonna look up!
      (BTW, while I am thinking about it, did you see this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGxKhUuZ0Rc Funny. 😀

      You know, the heartbreak has been bad, it is true. But there are those whose heartbreak is much worse, and much more due to random, awful events that have no component of choice in them whatsoever. That helps to keep the pain in perspective.

      And I also cannot fault the great amount of priceless personal growth that has come of all this!

      Hugs back to you, too!
      Only Forward!
      xx

  3. Karin, it takes such great courage to unravel a story like this but thank you for doing so. Your journey has certainly been a challenging one but perhaps this change is just what will set the course for a joyful future. The job climate and approach to making contacts have definitely changed but you’re a fantastic writer, a resilient, strong woman and I know you’ll meet the people you need to land the job you were made to do. Sending you strength and hope!

    • Karin P

      Thank you, Lindsey, for the thanks in sharing the story! It is one of those things that I grappled with for a while (“Do I do it? Will this affect my getting a job in Denver? Should I be so open?”), but then the inner knowing kicked in, “YOU MUST.” So, there you go. For all kinds of reasons this needs to be here, I am sure.

      Thank you for the thoughts of strength and hope. I am so grateful to Paris for teaching me things that will become most useful in my future. I have this sense that everything is going to be just fine, too. More bumps along the way, it is true, but Paris gave me gifts that will serve me well.

      xx

  4. I love you
    and things will get figured out eventually
    enjoy your whole new chapter in life! man, you’ve lived intensely, haven’t you?

    • Karin P

      Love you, too, Messed Up. 😉

      Things always have a way of getting figured out, it is really true (and then on to the NEXT thing to figure out, lol!).

      I have! I have lived intensely! But then I always (maybe just OFTEN at this stage in my life, though) choose the roller coaster over the merry-go-round. I think after this ride I need to let things calm down and sit in the station for a while, though. That’s a part of doing over, too.

      xx

  5. Stacey

    Oh, girl. I so wish you would have talked to me! I had no idea we were going through the same things at that time! 5 years later, I am in a better place, but still struggle so much. I have so much to tell you about, I don’t even know where to start! Let’s chat soon. You know where to find me: ______ is still good, but rarely used. From there I can give you the real address.

    • Karin P

      Mamafence! Okay, NOW things are making more sense. We’ve communicated on Twitter, but I was convinced that I knew you from high school, lolol. OK. Now everything fits, and even your name, now that I see it together with “Mamafence.” (I’m going to edit your email out, BTW, just because I don’t want you to get hacked or spammed.)

      I will get in touch with you.
      Hugs.

  6. Tout de bon, Karin, dans ta nouvelle vie a Denver. Wishing you love and adventures in Colorado, and all the very best, dear lady, in whatever you endeavor to do. Rock on!!

    • Karin P

      Merci beaucoup, Rita!

      Thank you so much for the well-wishes. They are deeply appreciated!

      Rock on!! (*throws badass rocker hand signal*) 😉

      xx

  7. SeattleMoxie

    Oh Karin. I already knew all this thanks to our continued friendship outside of Paris, but it still hurts to read it. I’m sad for you, sad for Paul. You’re brave as always for putting it all out there.

    And I’m happy there’s so much good happening in your life, too. Two sons back in your daily life. Pure happiness. What a crazy conflicted time!

    I’ll be following you at your new blog. And, of course, I’ll see you when I come visit the fam in CO. I look forward to that.

    Hugs, Karin.
    MJ

    • Karin P

      Hey MJ! My favorite mom. Besides my own. And myself, lol. 😉

      I am so grateful that our Paris Journeys intersected! And yes, I am so sad, too, to have one thing come to pass, and others renew themselves. Always the bitter and sweet. Thank god/dess they compliment one another.

      Crazy, crazy time, indeed. But at least they are not static and stuck — not overmuch. Lots of dynamic stuff at play, and I like being in that zone.

      It will be just too much fun to see you when you are in CO! I’m looking forward to that, too. Thanks for checking into the new blog. I hope it brings me as much as the one in Paris did.

      Hugs back.
      xx

  8. I had wondered if you and Paul had worked out something. I am sad. I am sending you my best good thoughts on whatever happens along this path. Your attitude is going to sustain you through the ups and downs.

    • Karin P

      I am sad, too, Barb. You’ve followed the story even longer than since I had this blog going, so yeah. I know you have watched things happen all along.

      Yeah, life throws us curveballs sometimes, eh? 😉 And you are so right about a good attitude and the ups and downs. Methinks you may know something about that. Thank you for the support.

      xx

  9. .I don’t even know what to say…
    I’ve ‘known’ you even before your youngest son was born, I remember your colourful arm tattoo and so many things on 360º, I came to know Janet thanks to you and many of our mutual friends…and Paul, of course, then came your Alien in Paris Days, your pleated hair and girlish look, photo taken standing by the window of your Paris apartment, you met with Sarah, and I cheered with joy when you and barefoot Paul got married…..life seemed to be smiling only on occasions….I don’t remember how many times I said the phrase ‘this isn’t fair’ …smile, love, strength, friends, joy, children, sorrow, the weak sunlight at dawn while the sun itself is still below the horizon…..What is it that gives you strength…
    I admire You my dear friend.
    Chapeau

    • Karin P

      Lila, it has been a long, long time, and you have seen a lot of water flow under many bridges! So many good times. Hard ones, too.

      I just sat here for a moment, soaking up your comment. There is not much to say except nod, and know you write truth.

      xx

  10. debbie in toronto

    Hello Karin…wow..that takes courage to just put it all out there but that’s something I’ve always known you had.

    I’ll always remember waiting for you and MJ in the Lux…and when the both of you came along it was like seeing two celebraties that I knew so well just in text. And we had a lovely afternoon with coffee and girl talk.

    most people only dream of living in Paris and you have done it.I’m so sorry your journey with Paul had to come to an end but I’m sure you’ll both find a way to remain friends. You have a lot of love to give.

    As for the job front..how about a coffee shop or a book store..I see you there.

    and If I ever make it to Denver

    • Karin P

      Hey there, Deb,

      It’s either courage or stupidity, ha — but I’ll take courage, thank you. I know that there are things that could help other people in my story. I actually really do hope it is something I can do one day: write the whole thing. Once I am sure of the lessons and the outcome is a little more positive or with momentum forward, I will try to do it.

      Oh Deb, if I am a celebrity, well… That’s very sweet, but yanno: I am just a middle class chick from Colorado, and pretty much unsuccessful and kinda a loser in many ways, hahaha. HOWEVER, reading what you wrote made me feel a little bit like a celebrity must feel, and it was very nice. 🙂 Thank you.

      I know Paul and I will try to remain friends… I hope we can do it.

      I used to work in a well-known book store here in Denver. I might try to go back there. I have avoided it so far as I know the book biz is not doing so hot, and they also only pay minimum wage. But, coffee shop may not be a bad plan. I know the right thing is out there. SOMEONE out there needs me. We’ll find each other!

      “and If I ever make it to Denver” you and I are definitely going to connect. For sure! It won’t be as romantic as near the Jardin de Luxembourg, but we shall manage!

      Thanks, Deb.
      xx

  11. Lauri

    Hugs, hugs, and more hugs, Karin!

    • Karin P

      Thank you, Lauri.
      Thank you, too, for being part of my Paris memories. 🙂
      xx

  12. Karin,

    My heart jumps at reading this. There is so much emotion in there. Life situations that seem absolutely unfair, yet you’ve continued, gone thru a lot, and a lot is still to be overcome. I was there for you in Paris, and I am here, now hailing from Canada. Paris leaves us all moved. Crazy, wonderful yet a using city. You miss it, and not. A city full of dreams that all never come true. For no one. Paris is a myth. A state of mind. For us to be courageous now and keep on going without Paris’ sometimes fake push Lots of love, dear friend!.

    • Karin P

      Hi Susa —

      Oh yes, just so many emotions. I know you know a thing or two about overcoming, and your words are meaningful because I know you understand. Your words about Paris are so very true, also.

      Let’s rock North America, shall we? 😉 I think you are doing a great job of it, and I am proud of your blogging after so many years and variations on doing it! You have reinvented yourself as well — I will follow your example.

      Love to you, too.
      xx

  13. Ernst Baptiste

    To every ending is a new beginning. Welcome Home.

    • Karin P

      Thank you, Ernst!

      I am still so sorry I never got to do that research for you! Perhaps there will be someone else who can come along to help you.

      To me, this is just like the ending of a really excellent volume in a multi-volume set. Like any great book, soon it is over. I can go back and revisit in my mind, but I have to keep writing the present to move forward.

      That’s all any of us can really do, isn’t it.
      xx

  14. I am reading this at the worst time, supposed to be heading out the door for an open house at one of my hubby’s job sites, but I am mesmerized and wanting to know and read more of your story. I’ve got chills from reading this. I’m both happy and sad for you. I don’t know you, but have read so much of you here on this blog,and feel I know some of you. And, I have to admit, I have often wondered “Will she ever go back?”
    I can sympathize with your reverse culture shock. I’m still having it. I’m thrilled at the thought of you getting reacquainted with your sons. I’m sorry about your passport issues and your impasse with Paul. So much to say, so little time. Bon courage et bon chance!

    • Karin P

      Betsy!!

      I just popped over to read your blog, too, to see what you have been up to, and found a very poignant Paris post there, too. Ahhhhhh. We’ll always be transformed, won’t we.

      It is so good to hear from you, and I feel just the same way. Knowing people’s stories in blogs is so amazing, and it really is powerful stuff. Reading your recent posts quickly from the New Year on was like catching up with a good friend, one I have not seen for a while. We really did follow one another’s journeys, didn’t we!

      I’m just sorry that we did not meet in Paris, however, I AM in ski country now!! 😉 Well, kinda. It is a ways up the hills, lol. But close.

      Thank you for the empathy and understanding. I know when the waves of emo hit, I am going to need to come back and read all the encouragement. I’m kind of comfortably numb at the moment, and really tired…

      Thank you so much for reading, even in haste and with other things going on.
      xx

  15. Wow. It took a lot of bravery to write that. I had been wondering what happened. Paul was clearly still in Paris and you weren’t. Stay strong.

    • Karin P

      Thank you, wonky73! I am glad that you came to read and comment. Much appreciated.
      Yes, many were wondering, and in past months I have managed to write to many people one-on-one, but at last I felt the “all-clear”, in fact, the NEED to write a closing post here. So many people followed this blog with dedication, and I felt so badly just letting it hang.

      And now when people ask, instead of rewriting the story again and again, I can just say, “Here. Here’s a link” and I won’t have to re-hash it. That’s going to be nice.

      See you ’round the Twitterverse (I finally followed you back — don’t know why I did not at first, but I did have a long Twitter hiatus. Lots of people I would have followed dropped through the cracks for several months).

      xx

  16. A cobblestone tripped me as I was paying my respects to The Great Ones in Pere Lachaise just last week. Il m’a dit, “Prends-moi avec toi, et me placer près de votre propre tombe…” Who was I to argue? Nous avons beaucoup en commun, Karin.

    • Karin P

      “Nous avons beaucoup en commun…”.

      Oui, c’est vrai. Je comprends.

      I am so glad that you got to Père Lachaise. I connect with that place so very much in my Paris Journey — lol — I guess that is kind of funny to connect with Paris through its largest city of the dead! But I do connect with it there so very much, and is one reason Mr. Mojo Risin’ et al plays a part in this post.

      An no, you can’t argue with the dead, ha. It’s one reason Père Lachaise is such a peaceful place to think. 😉

      Thank you, timecoding, for following this journey all along and lending your support.
      xx

  17. Adieu the Alien Parisienne..You have my feelings in a private Space….
    Hello Denver girl! My pleasure to see your life bloom after the snow.
    Get it on, girl!!
    xoxoxo

    • Karin P

      Thank you, sweet Barb. 🙂

      Springtime is coming.

      xoxoxoxo back, m’dear, and thank you for your kind words elsewhere.

  18. Carolyn

    As xpat92 said, adieu Alien Parisienne et bonjour Denver girl. I’m sure Paris misses you but I join others above in being happy for you and especially your young son that you’re back in his life. You’ll blink and he’ll be grown … there’s that saying something like hours/days can go slowly but years fly by. It’s so true.

    Never say never … wish I could offer something more but as you know, my hubby and I know something about what it’s like when — even after the kids are grown — some live in one country, some in another. Families are all over the globe these days and life has a way of surprising us over and over. But you know that.

    Wishing you and your loved ones nothing but the best. Take care xxoo from C and C

    • Karin P

      Thank you, Carolyn, and Clive, too.

      I know that you know a LOT about life and the joys and sorrows within, so your comments are always so welcome because I know how much you “get it.”

      I truly feel that the universe propelled me back here specifically because of both of my sons. I am also so glad to be a part of my oldest son’s life in his last 14 months (from now) of high school. He needed me to be back as much or more than my youngest in many ways.

      “there’s that saying something like hours/days can go slowly but years fly by. It’s so true.”

      Indeed.

      Hugs to both of you and thank you for reading.
      xx

  19. Well, this whole thing just sucks. So sad to hear you and Paul couldn’t work thing out! I’m so glad you could put the whole ordeal (is ordeal the right word?) into words, calmly and rationally. Even if things might not feel calm and rational. Hope your life back in Denver can restore your relationship with your son/family.

    Best wishes for the future, Karin!

    • Dear Rodney — wow! How wonderful to see you here! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

      Well, yes, it was hard to be calm and rational and put things into words because you are right, they don’t really feel that way at the moment. BUT, life goes on, it must, and I am a big believer in putting on my “big girl panties” and settling down to the work of helping myself have that good future. I know it will be, once the dust settles from the transition to this life where I believe I belong.

      Thanks again, and you and your family be well down there in Oz. Happy Fall to you all!
      xx

  20. Carole

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Karin. The best is yet to come . . .

    • You are welcome, Carole! And thank you for being someone who walked with me on the journey, too. Your support has been precious.

      xx

  21. Duchesse

    Hi Karin,

    I finally got around to reading your last post, and even though I already knew most of the story, like MJ, I found it incredibly sad:( But you are a genuine, courageous woman and a fighter! You’ll get through this:)

    And I’ll be one of the “geese” at the back of the flock egging you on and having your back:)

    Hugs

    Marie xoxo

    • Thank you, dear Marie! I appreciate your coming by and reading. Thank you for being one of my geese. 😉
      xx

  22. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post on pigeons and was looking through my pictures to find some. I did find a photo of some pigeons in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont that I took the day we met there. I used it and thought that you must be busy translating or working with kids, then I just found your post today.
    What a difficult situation you have had to go through. It breaks my heart to read what you endured in both countries and their respective administrations. At least you are going to a vibrant town which you know and where you have your sons. It would be a lot harder if you had to go in some little town in the south, or way north. But re-acclimating yourself is going to take some time I think, at least spring is coming and life is not so hard when the weather is nice. I enjoyed so much our visit with you in Paris and thought we may meet again in the future. I have never been to Denver, or Colorado, so maybe that will be where we will meet next time. I know everything will turn out all right for you and your sons. I’ll will go and read your new blog. Hugs!

    • Hello My Friend, Vagabonde!

      Thank you so much for visiting here. I appreciate it so much.

      It is so nice to read that you were going through photos of our day at the park. I miss the park a lot, but I carry the memories in my heart and mind, and in just closing my eyes can imagine being in the place that became such a symbol for me. Truly, I have taken that place in Paris and really made it “mine” in my remembrances of it, and it is a little “happy place” for me to reflect on. I had so many great walks and meetings there with people, you and your husband included.

      By all means contact me if you will ever be anywhere in Colorado! It would be lovely to see you here!

      Re-adjusting has been hard. And as of this post, things have become most final in my relationship, and that is never an easy thing. It’s hard to have these complications woven in and through that experience. I have much solace in my sister’s family right now. My 16-year-old son is fully involved in his high school world and life, and is not the most empathetic of creatures right now, but then what 16-year-old is? I only see my youngest for two hours a month at the moment, and it involves about 6 hours of driving for those two. It’s not easy on that end, either at the moment. Time will take care of that, and I eventually may need to move closer to where he is, when my oldest finishes high school.

      My nephew, who is nine? He is my spot of sunshine right now! He’s a little sweetheart, and I am so glad he has embraced me as his aunt. He loves family so much, and to be welcomed by a little concerned nine-year-old is really precious.

      Thank you for your good wishes. I know with my intellect that things will be just fine. I hope my heart catches up soon. I know with time, it will.

      xx

  23. Karin, I read this post and thought and felt so many things for you. My heart goes out to you for all you’ve been through, but yet I know you will continue to be strong (remember that being strong does not meannot grieving, not feeling) and that you will find your way. Will follow you at your new blog for sure. Sending all good karma, peace, and love your way!

    I also wanted to mention that your new post is not linking to this post as intended.

    All the best,
    Shirley

    • Thank you so much, Shirley, for your love, care, and support in this comment! I think that a sign of true strength is surrendering to that grieving process and getting to the other side of it as best one can. I know it is just going to take some time…

      Thank you for following here as a faithful reader, and thank you for following the new blog as well. It is much-appreciated!

      Thanks, too, for the heads-up on the link! Another friend let me know about it (it was a link I was sharing with someone else on Facebook that got copied into the post!). I was just checking to see if it was fixed when I saw your comment here.

      Thank you, again, Shirley, and thank you, too, for all the wonderful work you do on your blogs! I read all the time via Facebook and love what you are doing, although I rarely comment. Rest assured I am a silent participant and active lurker!! ♥♥♥

      xx

      • Awww, what a super generous response to me … thank you so very much! No need to comment on my blogs, etc. I feel and appreciate your support! 😉

        Give yourself all the time you need and remember that the stages of grieving are ideally sequential, but not for all, and each and every one of us can revert back to previous steps with a random thought, smell, song, etc.

        xo to you, dear!
        Shirley

  24. Pingback: This Blog Is Now Closed… | An Alien Parisienne

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