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Heads up my lovely online friends, this post is more emotional than usual. I wrote this after spending the last 2-3 weeks visiting a close family member who has been seriously ill. If you want to read something happier, you should hit the back button or have a read of some of my other posts!
We always talk about the glamor of always being on the road, the wonders of travel. What we don’t talk about is what we miss when we are away.
Recently, a close family member of mine fell seriously ill.
My grandmother has been constant in my life ever since I was born. Seeing her health suddenly deteriorate from being an active 95-year-old who always smiled and laughed to being bedridden and unable to open her eyes has been heartbreaking.
When I was growing up, she lived in Malaysia, which is about a 7 hr flight away from my home in Melbourne, Australia. We visited every year, and she also flew to Australia to stay with us for a month every year.
As she got older, we tried to visit as often as we could. Before I moved to the US, I made sure to visit her before I left the Southern Hemisphere.
But at times like this, I can’t help but wonder. Should I have visited more often? Logically, my mind tells me I visited as often as I should.
But my heart tells me that the time I had with her was not enough. Because when it comes to the ones you love, all the time in the world is never enough.
I could have spent every waking hour with my grandmother, and I still think it would not have been enough.
I could listen to her stories on repeat; several times a day. I still remember her insistence that I drink more water because the weather was hot. I miss her chuckles and her smiles. Every night without fail she would point out the cute cats on her hello kitty pajamas before bedtime.
I could have these moments every single day, and it still wouldn’t be enough.
So, what is the answer?
I don’t know.
I took the decision to live away from home because I wanted zero regrets, I wanted to see more of the world. I wanted to experience living in another country.
I wanted to live “closer” to the rest of the world. I wanted to see more; experience more.
As ridiculous as this sounds, I never thought that by making this decision I would see less of my family. By taking up my dream of traveling more, living away from home, I would sacrifice time with family.
Sometimes, it’s the unconscious decisions we make that create the most regret. The decisions you don’t even realize you’re making until it’s too late.
Again, I wonder, what is the answer?
There is no answer, no perfect solution.
Do I regret moving?
My mind says no; I’ve had amazing experiences in the last 6 months I’ve been here.
My heart says yes. I do regret it because moving to the US places me further away from the ones I love.
Maybe, this is something that time will heal. Maybe I will be able to see more clearly when my heart has had a chance to come to grips with the pain.