Homesickness is a funny thing isn’t. I don’t feel like I should get homesick, I mean let’s face it I’ve lived away from my family now for almost 20 years. My lovely mother is going to be 80 this year! So while it’s true to say that I definitely notice the days passing in absentia, I’m not really a homesick type of person. I don’t ache for a lost lifestyle or long for a return to home … well not normally.
Maybe it’s because I’m now so far away? As I said previously, San Jose California is about as far away as Perth, Western Australia as I could be. But I think it’s also the first major milestone birthday I’ve missed. Don’t get me wrong, there have been many missed birthdays before this one - but I always tried to be in Perth for the big ones. The 21st, the 50th, the 101st (yes, we had one of those). I can’t do that this time though and another milestone will happen in my family’s life without me. That’s tough.
Putting mum’s 80th aside, there are another 3 family birthdays coming up that I know I’m going to miss. Not to mention the 5 birthdays that took place prior to September while I was eye-deep in boxes and packing paper. So, I got creative and created a range of cards to capture exactly how I felt about missing my family (and their birthdays) for yet another year.
When it came to my sisters Kim & Kylie - I really wanted to acknowledge what they both told me when I left for Edinburgh back in 1999, which was ‘to simply gaze at the moon. We may see different stars …” they said “but we all gaze upon the same moon.” How true.
Next were my nieces and nephews. Capturing what I wanted to say to them was easy. I was thinking that perhaps I have become that crazy Aunt; the one who makes the party but always turns up a fraction too late. She forgot the present, she missed the DJ, the bar is closed, the party balloons have sunk to the floor or were accidentally popped by Grandpa when he threw the birthday girl over his shoulder during the waltz. You know the one I'm talking about don’t you?
I knew that those parties had happened without me previously and up until last week I was ok with that. Now, I suddenly feel so sad to be missing it. Not just my Mum’s big 80th, but all the many milestones I’ve missed along the way.
Have you missed your family milestones in the past? Does it bother you? If so, how do you cheer yourself up?