I write this after allowing myself a few minutes to cry and to let out all my pent up emotions. I haven’t allowed myself to really dwell on my feelings these past few days because of the hecticness that is the transition from the holidays. Now that I finally got a short break from work, the feelings all came rushing in and I just couldn’t help but break down.
Allow me to re-trace.
I don’t see my family a lot. I have a brother who passed away almost 15 years ago. My sister and brother-in-law are based in New York. I have two brothers here whom I rarely get to see. I haven’t seen my dad in years and the only one I see often (and that means maybe once a month) is my mom. So, I do miss them all. But it was only today when I really feel that I MISS them. You know what I mean?
I was really looking for the holidays because for the first time in years, I would be able to spend it with hubby (who didn’t have to work on Christmas eve), mom, my brother and his girlfriend, and of course, the kids.
It was such a simple yet fun celebration and I didn’t want it to end. But of course, it had to. I told myself I still had more time to spend with my family during Ziya’s birthday . We also planned a reunion lunch because my sister and her hubby were going to visit from the US.
So, Ziya’s birthday finally arrived and we celebrated with lunch last Saturday. My sister and brother-in-law were with us. My sister hadn’t been home in six years and this was the first time they saw Ziggy in person. I wasn’t expecting Ziggy to get close to them that easily but he surprisingly got attached to them almost immediately.
We got to spend only a few hours with them that day and I felt it wasn’t enough but I told myself we still had more time the next day when we have our reunion lunch with the rest of our family. So, the next day, Sunday, off we went to Cafe Juanita in BGC for lunch, this time with my mom and nephew.
My brothers and their respective better half couldn’t make it at the last minute so I got really disappointed. Nevertheless, we really enjoyed the time spent with each other. It was like my sister wasn’t gone that long at all. And it made me feel, at least for a few hours, that we were a family again.
Later that day, after dropping off my sister and brother-in-law at their rented condo, my brother and sister-in-law stopped by our house to pick up my mom and nephew. We had an impromptu dinner at home followed by a few really fun rounds of Jenga. Despite my initial disappointment that we weren’t complete during our reunion lunch, at least, we had a round two with my brother and sister-in-law for dinner.
But that day ended with news that they will be moving away soon. Still in the country but far enough that it would entail an airplane ride to get there.
I secretly wished for more time knowing that it would be the last chance for us to see my sister and that it would take years before we see her again. Unfortunately, my sister’s schedule was already packed and they had to go back to the US yesterday. I accepted that with a heavy heart but brushed it away because I had work deadlines to attend to.
Then came today. It suddenly dawned on me that this was probably the last holiday season that we would get to spend together before everything in our life changes. And yet, we didn’t even really get to spend it all together. We each have grown up and now have lives separate from each other.
It pains me to know that I will not really be around to see my sister and brother-in-law start a family of their own. It pains me to know that my kids will not grow up seeing their cousins, aunts and uncles a lot. Everybody’s going away. Even my girls, who will be moving to their dad’s place soon.
While I’m excited for the life journey my siblings are taking, I can’t help but be sad. It’s tough feeling like people are leaving you behind. But I know this is not really goodbye. Family will always be family and all that. It’s just going to be different. I, too, have my own journey to take. Who knows where life will take me?
We’re just going to have to find a way to be there for each other from afar. Maybe one day there will come a time when we’ll all be together again in the same place, all at the same time. I can only hope for that.
So, for those of you who are lucky enough to still have family nearby, go spend as much time with them as you can while they’re still here. You are blessed.