I grew up in Saint John, New Brunswick.
I moved to Toronto when I was 15 to live with my dad.
I returned to NB when I was 19.
But I moved back to Ontario only a year and half later.... Ottawa this time, with my then boyfriend, now husband Mr. Newman. :o)
Now we are in the USA.
My point is that I have lived away from "home" more than I lived there. But that is where my family is from and lives. It's my blood. And the familiar.
Raising my kids so far from family is hard sometimes. I didn't have any help when my babies were born. I miss out on anniversary and big birthdays and graduations. I wasn't there when my great-grandfather was sick. I'm not there now to help my aging grandparents.
I tell people constantly that they are welcome to visit. But New Brunswickers typically don't like to travel. I know this but it still hurts. I miss them and since having kids, we stopped travelling up as much as we used to. I sure would love to see them more.
My kids will grow up not knowing their grandparents, aunts or cousins the way I did. It hurts my heart when I think of this. And when my kids have a birthday and only get two phone calls from Canada.... that hurts too. I feel forgotten. I feel like my kids will never feel "a part" of family. And it's sad.
I'm writing this to say to those of you who have family far away... write them! Call them! Email them to simply say HI. It makes a big difference and it makes people feel remembered and loved.
As for the flip side of things and to end on a positive note, I have the most amazing friends here. My kids are growing up with other kids and it's the start of friendships for life. I am grateful for the local support. I have 7 people willing to watch my kids when I go into labor! I know that God uses people to show His love and I feel it! I am blessed and I am grateful. And it's only in God's love that I am NEVER EVER hurt or disappointed. I need to keep my eyes on Jesus especially in "storms" like these.