|My Sixth Birthday-1981|
That's me standing in the blue dress.
|Annual Camping Trip-1980|
We have been home from our vacation for nearly a week and I have to admit that I am quite depressed. This is usual and par for the course when coping with long-distance relationships. The mewling beast of loneliness growls in my belly, and claws its way up to spill through tears. These don't offer any relief. I have been making this pilgrimage since I was 17 years old. Do you think I could have found a successful way to cope by now? Normally I would be throwing myself into piles of work, and social engagements. That along with lots of decluttering and cleaning would almost distract me enough to settle back into routine, and quietly wait until the next year's family trip countdown. This coping method worked for me last year and many years before.
What is different this year? My little girl is now almost two years old. She remembers her special visit from a few days ago and points to family pictures around our home. During our two week visit she had learned names and made up nicknames:
Nanny- "Nanny find you?"
Poppy- "Poppy gone?"
Auntie- "Auntie Baby?" and "Auntie Car Car"
Uncle- "Man-o gone"
Cousin- "Hannah-girl gone."
Little One has been going from room to room looking for her "lost" family. Her questions and occasional distress make me cry. I try to hide this from her, but she sees the tears and hears the sniffles. Sweet Girl wraps her arms around me and says, "Mommy cry" then rests her head on my shoulder and pats my back. I realize that I have done myself a terrible disservice in waiting so long to have a baby. I seem to punish myself for choosing a long-distance life. This little girl is teaching me how to tackle tough emotional issues head-on. She asks the tough questions, then expresses true responses when the answer is not what she hoped it would be. The disappointment is dealt with head on. Then her life carries on and she is able to express unsuppressed joy over the simplest of things.
So on this Monday I have resolved to stop the pity party I have wallowed in because I can't see my family every time I want. We are blessed to be able to talk to our loved ones and connect in other ways. I know that we need to focus on positive ways to nurture these long-distance relationships.
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