I also left my ability to be with my family when I NEEDED to be with my family. But such is the life of an expat. It is a choice we make when we decide to pick up our lives and move to a new country...
There are many times, more than I hope and pray are normal for most expats, that I have really FELT the 5,000 miles between me and my family in these last 4.5 years because six weeks after I moved here, my dad had a heart attack, followed by a quadruple bypass operation. And then eight weeks after I moved here, my MoMo died.
Add to that my having a miscarriage, Jess being involved in a near-fatal car accident, my dad being diagnosed with esophageal cancer, my mom being diagnosed with breast cancer, and my precious grand baby being born into the world.... Because you see, even with the good and awesome things, like a new granddaughter, an expat FEELS THE DISTANCE and it hurts.
Last spring, when Jess told us she was pregnant, Mads and I began making mental plans of when we could try to move back to Texas and at that point, our goal was to try and be back by Christmas 2014, just after Corrie's 2nd birthday. It seemed like a great plan. We could finish our commitments here and be back in Texas just in time to really watch her grow into the amazing person she is going to be.....
But then in the same week that Corrie was born, we received some news that shook our world. As you know, that is the week that my mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer, and that is the moment when our plans began to change and began to change very quickly. No longer could we wait because in that week we were confronted with the realization of how precious each moment of each day really is. Yes, we already KNEW that, but until you hear the words PANCREATIC CANCER, you don't really grasp the value of those precious moments because as you all know....pancreatic cancer is most often caught too late. This does not mean that we will lose my mom tomorrow, or next month or even in the next few years (because I plan on having her around for a very long time to watch Corrie grow up with me), but it DOES mean that it is time to go home. NOW. No more waiting. No more separation. No more distance.
Mads and I, unfortunately may have to live apart for just a little while, much like we did in the early stages of our relationship, but it will just be for a little while.... I will know more about timelines and dates in the coming weeks and when I do, I will be glad to share the details, but I don't want our news today to be clouded with all that minutiae right now.
I want this news to be a CELEBRATION of what is happening in our lives. Like the song says...... I AM COMING HOME and Texas is pretty lucky because I am bringing this incredible Viking with me.