Thurs 17th and 18th November were big days for my family and I; it was my granddad’s 92nd birthday (his first in a home); My godson completed his army training and had his passing out parade (well earned); it was my son’s last day of kindy (big school next year); and it was the day my daughter graduated from secondary school and was accepted into university (bumpy ride). Come to think of it, they weren’t “big” days, they were ENORMOUS!
And the toughest part of all these milestones is that we weren’t all together. The rest of my family were in Scotland, and my wee family was here in Noosa. These events are always emotional – a mix of joy, excitement, apprehension and sadness – when you’re miles away, multiply that by at least 10…. then throw in christmas! F&%K its hard.
I’m not one to dwell on the past or look back, but I do feel it’s important to acknowledge these things. Never have I felt the absence of family and loved ones as much as I did this past week, and yet I made a choice, but my family didn’t..
My children didn’t choose to be without grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins close by.
My godson didn’t choose to have us missing from this important time in his life.
My granddad didn’t choose to have his last few birthdays without us.
My parents did not choose to be unable to hug their daughter or their grandchildren when they felt like it, or to miss out on the special moments when they happened.
My sister and my nephews didn’t choose to only see my kids every 18 months or so.
And my oldest and dearest friend did not choose not to have me around when she lost her mum.
My dad and I had a chat the other week about relationships etc when he said, “You’ve given up a lot.” I had never really thought about it in that way. In actual fact, all I thought about was what I was gaining, and it has only been this past week that the realisation of family ‘not being there’ really hit home. It was highlighted even more so when I saw there were grandparents at the graduations, my godson’s passing out photos were on Facebook and his gran, my sister and I weren’t there, and the fact that there may not be another birthday for my granddad. The entire family has been impacted by my decision, we have all missed out on memories and time with each other, it is something that we will never get back and it leaves me with a constant ache in my chest.
If I knew then what I know now, I never would have made the decision to move away. Lots of women I speak to feel the same no matter how long ago they left “home”, men seem to feel it less, but whether they do or not I can’t be sure.I’m not unhappy, I love my life in Australia and so does my wee family! I have learned and achieved things I would never have done as a result of moving here and having to start again. But that doesn’t change the fact that I do miss being close to my family and lifelong friends in moments like these.
So sometimes I drink too much wine and cry, last week I didn’t drink the wine but I did cry!! I went to see Andre Reui Christmas special at the cinema. I went on my own, (I pretty much knew I would blub the whole way through). It was magical and I loved every bit of it, but then, on came Amazing Grace with a Scottish castle back drop and a woman playing the bag pipes!! NOT GOOD…..the flood gates opened, the poor man next to me handed me a tissue and I spluttered ”I’m really sorry I can’t help it I’m Scottish!”
And that’s it in a nutshell I am Scottish, I will always feel the pull back home to Scotland and my family no matter where I live or how old I am. They belong to me and I belong to them. This time of year is always the same for me and lots of other people and instead of hiding it and sweeping it under the carpet put it out there! Tell your family that you love and miss them, have a good old snotty cry and drink too much wine. Sometimes there is nothing else for it! ;o)