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Pamela Fagan Hutchins | A proper British workweek.

Greetings from Jolly old England, where I am six hours ahead of the time zone my heart prefers to keep.  My husband lost his father last week, to a long struggle with diabetes.  I’ll make it home just in the nick of time for the funeral, which means five days away from Eric when he needs me. 

I feel like a cretin.  I also know that he would have killed me if I’d backed out of this obligation.

And you know what the man went and did now?

He sent me flowers to my shi-shi London hotel.  That’s right.   He’s worried about me worrying about him, so he sends me a sussie.  Now I feel guilty for that, too, but in the best, most grateful, pinch-me-he’s-a-dream way.  How did he do that?

The flowers were entertaining, too.  The front desk woke me up from my post red-eye snooze (how the hell can anyone sleep on an airplane, even in business class…which, of course, rocks whether you are asleep or awake) to ask if it was okay for them to bring a little surprise up to me. 

That’s the kind of wake up call I like.

The card was addressed to Mrs. Hutchins.  The inside read “From Mr. Hutchins.”   This is the proper British way of saying “I love you, you sexy creature, from Eric.”  The British are probably the ones that made Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke pretend they slept in separate twin beds on the Dick Van Dyke sitcom, too.

I loved it.

I love them.

I love my husband.

And I will love seeing his face when I arrive, tired and worried on Friday night.

I really, really hate not being there.  It makes it hard to enjoy here, and here is pretty awesome.  Just a lot less awesome than it would be together, and reduced by a factor of ten due to the loss of Gene.

Send my husband some virtual support and love, peeps.  Life lessons in business travel #3273: the difficulty of getting home will always be inversely proportional to your need to be there.


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28 Responses to A proper British workweek.

  1. ally says:

    Very nice, and very British!!! So very thoughtful of him!!

  2. I’m so sorry about Eric losing his Dad. And it’s tough your not being there. But you will be. And in the meantime, you are in London, which is listed prominently as NUMBER 1 on my bucket list. I’m jealous of that part. It’s all mixed emotions for you I’m sure and your heart is with Eric. Our hearts are with you both.

    • Pamela says:

      You know what makes it worse? I have to be here, but what I am doing is spread out and requires very little of my time. I’m staying walking distance from Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, shops on Oxford and German streets, Buckingham Palace, Parliament, the royal residences, Westminster Abbey, and the National Museum of Art. And a whole lot more. I’m putting on my running shoes and gonna blast Eric’s favorite play list in my ears and do a jogging tour of all the places that mean a whole lot less seen without him.

      Feeling guilty about it.

      So don’t feel sorry for me.

      Just marvel at the irony.

      When all I want is to be in Houston and travel with him on Wednesday to Jacksonville.

      Meanwhile I’m flown business class to Heathrow and stay in the Sofitel St. James and eat out every meal (well, in London that’s not necessarilly a good thing).

      Whaddya gonna do.

  3. LeDawn Fansher Webb via Facebook says:

    I’m so sorry about your loss, Pamela. Sending you all wishes for peace, strength and healing.

  4. You guys consistently amaze me….and Eric always does a great job at kicking me in the butt to be a better husband. What are you doing in England….I must have missed something this past week as I had no clue you were there. Be sure to give Mr. Hutchins a big hug from me and let him know we’re thinking of him. Have a safe flight home.


  5. What a conundrum – there was no way to win on this one. You know he doesn’t want you feeling guilty and not enjoying this time in a wonderful place, even though your heart aches to be with him and for the loss of your d-i-l. Guilt impies you had a choice and made the wrong one – you didn’t. You are an amazing half of a gag-me-now couple. This is just more proof – you’re unhappiness at being without him and his flowers to help alleviate that unhappiness! What an amazingly wonderful gaggy couple you are.

  6. And Eric – this is your virtual support and love: you are in our prayers for peace inside to get through this tough time. And it is tough no matter how prepared one is. My dad was a “suddenly” and my mom was an “WHAT?” (went in for hip surgery & died 9 days later unexpectedly). I was unprepared for both but God got me through it. You’ll miss him but he is in the pain-free zone now with all parts functioning. I was reading on his memorial website and he sounds like an amazing man that anyone would have loved knowing.

  7. Susie says:

    Beautiful flowers. Beautiful family.
    See you in Florida. Stay safe.

  8. Rebecca Nolen says:

    I miss England. Are you in London? Which shi-shi hotel?

  9. Ally says:

    I love, love, love London. But can’t imagine having to be there by myself if my husband was home going through that. :( How sweet is he to send you the flowers? Hang in there!

  10. —Looooooooooove London.

    And your hubs ROCKS :))

    Sorry to hear about your loss, dear.

    PS. how is Petey?

    • Pamela says:

      London is awesome :)
      Petey misses ME, and is having to make do with second fiddle and the rest of the band. He got the rest of his stitches out and is a squirmy happy mess. He says thanks for asking about the top dog.

  11. Tracie says:

    So very sweet!

    I have always wanted to visit England. (random free information for you). I love the Dick Van Dyke show (more random free information).

    Sending a lot of love to your husband and family (and you!).

  12. Eric Hutchins says:

    Sorry It has taken so long to comment, really been the perfect storm, but….. It is such a sweet post and YOU ARE RIGHT, I would have killed you if you did not go. This is such an important client and such an important job for that client. AND you have worked so hard you have earned the right to a business class trip to england and a chance to see something amazing. I am glad that you have some time to get out and see a little of it. Think of it as a scouting trip for when we go back (think jogging trails and bike paths (kidding) (sortof)).

    For those of you that added kind thoughts here about my dad, thank you. He was an amazing guy. As a young person I took a lot of what he did for granted and assumed that a lot of his choices were accidents. I am glad that he and I both have lived long enough for me to mature enough, to look back on his life in wonder at how lucky I have been to be his son, and be grateful for the things I have learned from him.

    I miss you baby, you can come home now :).

    • Pamela says:

      I just teared up a little, love. That was very sweet about your dad. He was amazing, and he did make choices deliberately that gave you the kind of growing up years kids dream of. And he didn’t stop there. The things he did for you as an adult were kind, generous, loving, and unbelievable. I am grateful to him, too. I loved Gene, and I will always miss him.

      And I miss you.

      I leave in 24 hours (from the hotel anyway) and will see you in 61.


  13. lizza says:

    Im so sorry to hear about your husbands loss

  14. […] a much more serious note, Eric lost his father. Read about or leave a tribute for the wonderful Gene at […]

  15. […] including an extra unanticipated $1000 for an electrical emergency (ugh). But that’s why I go jetting off to London on short notice, right? It’s because I wanted a new bathroom! And we couldn’t just not […]

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