The Joys of Moving, the Comfort of Friends and Family
My grandparents, Joe and Marion Murphy, at their wedding 62 years ago.
Today is moving day for my family — we're moving to the beautiful village of Hagatna, which is actually the capital "city" of Guam. (I put "city" in sarcastic quotes because while Hagatna is the center of government on Guam and the home of many fine businesses and restaurants, there are actually only about 400 residents in the city. It thrives by day and is nice and sleepy at night.)
So our house is decluttered and packed, and we're about to haul all our stuff from the hilly, quiet and scenic village of Santa Rita to the more downtown Hagatna.
It's a wonderful move in many ways, because although we'll miss Santa Rita greatly, Hagatna is just so much closer to everything. We'll be within walking distance of great restaurants, a grocery store, a library, the beach, parks, movie theaters, the post office, the gym, the kids' music lessons and soccer games, and much more. In Santa Rita, we had to drive to get to anything. So this move is a move toward an even simpler life, where we can walk more and drive less.
It's always interesting to move, though: you find old moldy things you never knew you had, lurking in the darkest nether regions of your closets. You discover that you've never moved your refrigerator in the three years you've lived in the house, and that an interesting miniature civilization has formed in the shadows. You learn that when you have to move everything you own, you suddenly realize that you don't need to own this much, really.
We're excited. :)
My Grandfather's Funeral
Yesterday was my grandfather's funeral — actually more of a memorial service and celebration of his life. It was actually very wonderful, because it was held beach-side with gorgeous weather, a strong ocean breeze, good food and a huge amount of friends and family.
My grandfather was Joe Murphy, for 40+ years the editor and then columnist of the Pacific Daily News (formerly the Guam Daily News). He's a journalism legend on Guam, an inspiration to me as a writer, and he touched countless lives here on Guam and in the Micronesian region. I can't possibly summarize his amazing life in this post, and I won't try, but I will say that I miss him greatly.
I hope, when I die, that I can look back on my life and say that I've had as great a life as my grandpa had. He traveled the world — really, he went everywhere — he left behind a legacy of history and words that is unparalleled here on Guam, he had a huge family of 8 kids and 42 grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, he died peacefully in his sleep, at home, in bed, with his unbeatable and beloved ocean view just to his left.
He was a great man, and he leaves behind a great woman — my grandmother, Marion, who is someone I admire just as much for her strength, her courage, her kindness, and her beauty over the years. The two of them had their ups and downs in 62 years of marriage, but I can only dream that my marriage will be as strong and long-lasting as theirs has been.
The really touching thing about yesterday was having so many friends come out for the service. There were people I hadn't seen in years, and we were able to catch up a bit. Having friends and family come together in a time of grief is a powerful thing — everyone is holding each other up, sharing the burden of grief so that no one person much bear the brunt of it, keeping each other busy with kind words and loving hugs and song and even laughter from the many stories shared.
I'm grateful for the amazing friends and family we have, and my greatest hope is that I can have so many friends and family surround me through the rest of this journey we like to call life. It's a blessing unmatched.