I realized something during a phone call with my sister a few days ago: I was never going to be happy in Tucson.
I've enumerated ad nauseum the reasons I had to leave -- no jobs, no girlfriends, no church, no dating pool. But the truth is simply that as much as I loved the Tucson area, I could never have been happy there because of the reason I moved there.
I moved there to be with my Mother while she died. "Tucson," for me, equals "Mother dying." "Tucson" equals "Stress and upheaval." Four years of ongoing stress and upheaval. Yes, we settled into a good routine, and yes, we made a happy family life. But we were always waiting for the floor to drop out from under us.
I will never regret having moved to Tucson: It was a good thing for all of us, for me, for the boys, for my mom, for my sister and her family. It was quality family time that will shape my boys' lives from here on out. We were glad to be there, and we miss my sister and her family now that we are not there.
But ... as beautiful as it is, as much family love as is there, Tucson will never be my "happy place." This realization doesn't change anything, but I am glad to have named the underlying truth.