Before I came to Thailand, I had spent about 10 years studying and working at a university in a town three hours’ drive from my family. Three hours isn’t so bad; it was just enough space that I could pop down for a visit every couple of months or so, or if I was REALLY in need of family time, I could (and did) drive down on a whim. It was also enough space that I felt what it was to not be near your family.
Of course, moving to Thailand makes that three hours distance laughable. And these are the choices and trade-offs we made: we traded in closeness to those we loved for adventure, freedom, economic security, and life challenges and the lessons they bring with them. (Sadly, one thing I’ve learned is that the best Thai food is still my mother’s.)
But there are days I miss that closeness – that ease of being able to call and not worry about the time difference; the simplicity of being able to just drive over, raid the fridge, and catch up on the family gossip over a bag of chips; and the stories of the non-main-events, the ones that kind of tell you more about what’s really going on with your loved ones than the main-event stories do.
In particular, I miss the women: mothers (in-laws included), sister, cousins that might as well be sisters, nieces, aunts. I miss their stories, banter, and wisdom. Shared memories and experience.
I wish I could shop with them, cook with them, eat with them.
Take my nieces skating…
…see their burgeoning sisterhood through alternating urges to hold on tight or egg each other on.
I missed seeing my cousin become an American citizen. Wish I could have watched him pledge his allegiance to the flag.
But we adjust.
Instead of phone calls and impromptu visits, we have Facebook and Skype. We can see their faces and still hear their laughs from time to time. And we’ve been so lucky to have such a constant stream of visitors that we haven’t had much chance to feel lonely or alone. We know that even when we don’t hear their voices, their thoughts keep us close: that when we cheer, they’re cheering along beside us. When we celebrate, they’re having a party over there too.
And that’s okay. Because love is deeper than distance. And we are very loved.
For the month of February, Bigger Picture Blogs is celebrating LOVE! Share a loved or loving moment with us – it can be anything: a poem, a memory, an ode or yearning, so long as it comes from the heart!
Bigger Picture Moments
Live. Love. Capture. Encourage.
This week we’re linking up on the Bigger Picture Blog’s website!