Friday, January 28, 2011

This is the hard part

I'm an expat who happens to have a blog. But I feel I should be relatively honest about what an expat's life is. Sometimes I'll come across a student who'll tell me they used to live in the south of France (a twelve-hour drive from where they live now) and how it was just too far from their family. I know what you mean, I say. And then some.

No more is that true than when family members fall ill. That was our case last week when my grandma fell and had to go to the hospital for a little less than a week. I wished I could just hop in the car or take a short plane ride to see her. But for me, seeing my family involves a minimum of about a 16 or 17-hour day when you count the train ride before and the car ride after. So I feel a bit helpless whenever anything happens way over there. I can call and hear my grandma's cheery voice and assure myself she's doing a little better. I can send emails and, more importantly, receive them to get updates. But not much more.

Luckily she's home from the hospital now but still recovering from her fall. Now my family is taking turns taking care of her, and again I'm a bit left out in that aspect. I know they don't resent me for it, but I just wish things were easier.

The best I can do from way over here is send out a big get well to her and a big hug to all the family over there!


Amber said...

That is definitely the hard part. When my great grandma died last year I felt pretty helpless too. She was very old so I didn't feel right "mourning" her loss, so to say, but I was very sad for the people laying her to rest and wishing that I could have been a part of that. I dread the day that something happens to somebody more immediate in my family. I don't even want to think about it.

Hope your grandma gets to feeling better soon and in the mean time I am sure it means the world to her to hear your voice and get news from you.

Jenenz said...

You are there for your grandma, spiritually and deep in her heart she knows this. Keep the connections open. I know it may not make you feel better because you yearn to be with her, but she knows you care deeply.

Sending lots of healing powers to your grandma and love to you.

Crystal said...

Hey girl, I'm sorry to hear about your grandma. I'm glad she is feeling better.

It's hard being so far from family during the good times (weddings, births etc) and the bad (funerals etc). Missing things like that is a consequence of choosing to live abroad, but I cant help but feel guilty when something happens at home and I'm no there. But such is life and if I ever needed to go back for something, I wouldn't hesitate to hop on a plane ad be there in 12-15 hours ;)

Hopefully the sun it back out up there...we could all use some vitamin D!