When you move far away from all your family and friends, it means that you likely won’t always make it home for the holidays. You may even find yourself celebrating a holiday all by yourself, like I am this Thanksgiving weekend.
I’m happy that Chris had the opportunity to fly home to Manitoba, and my weekend is actually going well. (If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be blogging.) But a few months ago, when Chris went to Manitoba for two weeks without me, I found myself wondering if it was possible for a person to actually die from loneliness.
Already we have missed two of my cousin’s weddings, all holidays in the past year, many birthdays, and a few funerals that we would have attended had we not moved away. Just this weekend, Chris attended a party for our close friends who are going travelling for six months, and a party for his grandpa’s 100th‘ birthday. He’s lucky that both events fell on a long weekend and he could take an extra couple days off work in order to go. I’m disappointed to miss these celebrations and all the Thanksgiving turkey eating with family around a big table.
When I think about missing out on things, I also consider the little things. For example, my nieces are growing up quickly and I’m not around for important milestones, like losing both front teeth or starting preschool. Thanks to Face Time, I’m kept in the loop, but children connect through playing together much more than talking on the phone.
Going out for coffee with friends and aunts, chatting with neighbors on the street, all the friendly faces at the Legion, bumping into people I know everywhere I go… I miss these elements of being part of a community.
I believe I still am part of a community, just from a distance. I am grateful for all my supportive friends and family and the opportunities I’ve had to take risks and try new things.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and if you also experience the inner conflict I just described, I would love to hear your insights!