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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

To Find Home In

I didn't get a chance to call home this weekend. I think in a way, that is the hardest part about being away from home. It's knowing that I can connect but finding that the reality is I can't connect as much as I would like. Sure, we have a family chat where we share photos and jokes, ask questions, plan family vacations between three continents, or just keep each other updated throughout the day. But it's not the same as being in the same room as each other. A video call is a poor substitute but at least I can hear voices and see facial expressions. When I can't have even that, I struggle.

The streaming quality here somehow manages to let me watch episode after episode of Masterchef but can't handle a video call properly. Usually I'm left peering at a screen where my mother's face has frozen in a strange position, or I'm trying to decipher a sentence out of the disjointed syllables and partial words that have jerkily filtered across the airwaves. Occasionally, and then often only briefly, I will see them crystal clear and it's then that I study their faces intently, memorizing, and wishing they were closer so I could feel happy that I was with them.

My sister had other priorities on Sunday and my mother's laptop was on silent, as usual, so she missed my messages til it was too late and I had given up and gone to bed. Last week I'd talked to my mom and brother and it had been two and a half weeks since I'd spoken to my sister. I realized that perhaps this was part of life, the slow separation as we each lived our lives, but I wasn't ready for it. I needed to stay connected.

I know why the ache is so strong. It's because my mother, my brother, and my sister are still the world to me. No one has taken a parallel place in my heart until now so I find my home in them.

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