The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Where You Leave Your Heart Is Never Up To You …

I recently was in LA for work.

Being a sentimental sod, I couldn’t help find the time to go visit some of the places that became so important to me – and us – when we lived there.

Hell, I even went to the house of the man who bought my car just so I could see it again.

But of all the places I’ve revisited in LA, visiting Otis’ preschool is the one that made me the most emotional.

This is a place he loved.

Where he met his beloved Elodie.

Where his Mum connected to people who will be life long friends.

Where they were both made to feel they mattered from the second they arrived.

Leaving LA was hard. Not for professional reasons, but for personal.

Yes I was sad to leave people I’d met who had grown to become very important to me, but hardest was taking my wife and son away from a place they had thrived in.

Even though we were only there for approx 18 months, we wanted Otis to always know there was a time this was his home … that leaving didn’t mean he’d disappeared. So we wanted to do a few things for the school of which one of them was ask if we could donate a park bench in Otis’ name, so generations of future kids could play on it and – in some way – get to know the little boy who loved that place so much over 2017/18.

By pure chance, when I was driving past the school – it was a Saturday – I saw they had an event on, so being a cheeky sod, I went in hoping they’d let me see the bench we made.

They welcomed me with absolute open arms and as they let me see the seat we left for Otis, I realized – for the first time – that I’d also left a bit of myself here as well.

14 Comments so far
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What a beautiful story and thoughtful gesture. We are sorry you are no longer close to us but very happy you are happy.

Comment by Mary Bryant

Thank you Mary … and trust me, I’m not sure everyone in your family shares your opinion, ha.

See you soon.

Comment by Rob

You may have worked in America but you lived in Manhattan Beach. That place is so nice even Satan would miss it. Reading this post, it seems like he has.

Comment by Bazza

That is very, very true.

And ‘nice’ is the perfect word too … hahaha.

Comment by Rob

I envy your ability to talk about your feelings so easily. I hope one day, Otis will read this post about him, his first school and his life in America

Comment by Pete

Oh you can do it … I’ve seen it, mainly when it was pay review time. Ha.

Thanks for the nice words, I hope he reads it too … better yet, I hope he visits and reads his bench in person.

Comment by Rob

It didn’t work on you.

Comment by Pete

Love this so much.


Comment by Jemma King

But what about the rainforests, you capitalist!

Comment by ebolabolabola

I am interested how this makes me a capitalist.

But here are a few points.

1. The bench was made from wood specially and specifically sourced from an ethical wood merchants.

2. It is not a gratuitous purchase, it will be used and enjoyed by kids for many generations.

3. While I welcome and value debate here, you just want to be a troll so please pull your head out your ass and either be constructive or just go away. Thank you.

Comment by Rob

Oh … I’ve just realised you’re not the person from yesterday, which means you’re just taking the piss out of them and me.

That is perfectly acceptable.

Comment by Rob

ok campbell, thats pretty fucking nice. guess that means another 50 years before youre not a total prick again.

Comment by andy@cynic

[…] It’s kind-of similar to why we bought a bench for Otis at his school in LA. […]

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[…] I was surprised how emotional I felt when I went back to LA – especially when I visited Otis’ old kindergarten – but I suppose even the shortest time living in a place, leaves its mark on […]

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