I can honestly say after more than three years that it’s really amazing to be where I am. Thanks to a good job and some great friends, I love my adopted home. It’s paradise, truly.
But. You knew there was a but coming.
This week a few things happened that made me think that maybe I am too far from the part of my heart that is my family.
First my granddad went to the hospital. It’s very mysterious, which just makes bad news worse. Nothing I can do about that.
Then a brother-in-law went to the hospital with some persistent chest pains. We now know he had a heart attack. Thankfully, he’s post surgery and back at home being lovingly cared for by my sister and their baby girl. Again, other than sending prayers and Jedi hugs, nothing I can do about that.
Then a whole big section of California caught on fire. My people had to evacuate with their babies and even though they’ve since been allowed to go home again, nobody will unpack their cars because fire. Maddeningly, nothing I can do about this one either.
I want to be with my family as all these things are happening, but last minute travel is prohibitively expensive, and the reality is that I just can’t pick up and go like I could when I lived there.
To be clear, there isn’t a lot of really useful stuff I could do if I were there. In times of crisis, my family knows they can rely on me to brew the coffee, crack a distractingly inappropriate joke and amuse the babies long enough for mommy to take a shower, but only if I’m not, for example, out covering the fire.
And then of course, I have to remind myself that while I might be thinking about all these things as happening “there,” they’re actually happening in three different states. Very far away from each other. Even as I want to be “there” with my big family in the states, I know that some of them are wanting to be there for each other and can’t either, because they’re on opposite coasts.
Thankfully, they don’t have to read this to know that even though I am so far away, they’re in my heart, because they are my heart.