Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Importance Of Family...

This afternoon at the bus stop, one of the mothers, who had just come from Holland with her family this time last year, announced that they were moving back. They’d recently been home for a 3 week visit and will now move back there in about 2 weeks, frantically packing and selling things to return to where all of their family is close at hand.

“Family is so much more important that anything!” she declared.

I understood. Today was my nephew Owen’s first birthday and he is half a world away in Switzerland where my brother and sister-in-law live. I have seen plenty of pictures and watched him grow up that way, but I have only held him for one brief family wedding weekend last August. I HATE being a long-distance aunt! Every time we tried to call this morning, the circuits were busy. By the time the girls got home from school and we got through the chaos of homework, it was already past his bedtime.

I had a wonderful phone call with my sister today as well, who is almost as far away in London. Being able to talk in person is just so much better than e-mail, even though I love little chatty messages back and forth. The time change between Moncton and London is a bit easier in some ways that when she and Yoshi were in Tokyo, but there are still times when I want to chat with her and it is already to late across the ocean.

I am lucky enough to have wonderful friendships with both my siblings. Though there were times when we fought or had our differences as children and teens, they have both grown up into people I admire, respect and am proud to call friends as well as family. Perhaps if we did all live in the same area, we would take each other for granted... but sometimes I seriously wish that they would invent a Star Trek transporter so that I could whisk my molecules over to see them and hug them in person more often.

It is funny that each of us wandered so far away from Quebec and each found people and places that we fell in love with. I have now spent more years in New Brunswick that I did in Quebec before leaving to head East to Mount Allison University almost 20 years ago. I love to visit Montreal or Toronto now and then, but I simply cannot imagine living anywhere else but here. This is the city in which I have put down roots, made friends, created a home and a family....

And yet, I understand that tug of family that my friend feels. That longing to be nearer to the people that you love. To ache for those moments when you could just drop over, get together for lunch or be there for important milestones. My grandmother once shared with me how envious she was of our ability to e-mail each other when she and her favourite sister had often waited MONTHS for letters to make their way back and forth from Montreal to New Zealand. Who knows what kind of technology or travel innovations my two girls may have at their disposal to keep in touch if they end up on opposite sides of this planet someday. Near or far, I hope that they appreciate that special bond that binds them together as family and that they come to care for, love and admire each other as much as I do mine!

1 comment:

Erin said...

Family ROCKS! My brother is truly my best friend in the whole wide world, and I wouldn't trade him for anything. We talk several times a week, despite him living in Miami. I can't wait for him to move back near me! And I am always amazed at how far-flung your family is. I'm afraid I'm a bit more like your friend; it would be torture for me to be so far away. It's bad enough as is. Thank goodness for technology! I think email and digi-cams were invented just for long-distance relatives. :-)