I cried the first time they drove away. On a college campus, with activities to go to, in the room I shared with my sister, and still the tears dripped down my face as they drove home. Like homing pigeons, each weekend we would return to the nest to be nourished with love and food before diving back into the world again.
I moved in a half circle around our family home. Due north, then east, then finally west. Never more than three hours away. During graduate school, I would lament the missed family dinners on Sundays that I couldn’t quite make because there wasn’t enough time to get home and back on the too-short weekend. When I finally was only an hour away, I took full advantage and made it home for midweek dinners, in addition to weekend shopping trips, and all of the family dinners.
I cried the last night he drove away. In my pajamas, in my apartment that was so conveniently located to my family, the tears were unchecked as my world shifted off balance. With every trip and visit, the tears would fall as I learned that there was someone that I was loathe to live far away from. More than my parents, more than my friends, more than my family all combined. Living away from them might be hard, but living away from him was impossible.
I cried the morning I drove away and then the next morning and that night, and then probably the next morning as well. Alone on the road with my trailer of belongings, I said goodbye to everything I knew. We moved around the world and back again, trust me, I’m still sad we didn’t get to move to Japan in order to circumnavigate the globe. Though we’re back, we’re still away from my family completely.
We’ve missed births, deaths, weddings and all the little moments in between where life happens. We still live away and it’s still hard.
It’s hard to live away during the bad times because they are hurting and I am hurting but we are hurting apart and the burden can’t be lifted together. It’s hard to live away during the good times because joy is meant to be shared. It’s hard to live away during the little moments, because they are so fleeting but they’re what truly matters.
Sometimes, I wish that life was simpler and that home was still in South Texas. Yet, I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. Home hasn’t been a place in a long time, in fact, it never was a location. Home has always been the people that populate the location. Which means that home will always be scattered across the world with my loved ones.