The tourist season is here once again in our little corner of the world. If you stand by the hill over-looking our little village, you’ll see them dotted all over…
It’s a bit magical really – suddenly our little village is teeming with life and if the weather is warm enough, you could sit outside, have a cup of tea/coffee or even a pint and people watch. Only the ones who live here don’t do that – unless they have friends or family visiting and you are showing them around. When this is all over, our village becomes like a ghost town once again… quiet. It is actually also nice … comforting even.
They – the tourists, have been lucky. Even though it is still cold, the days have been bright and sunny. However, if the BBC five-day weather forecast is correct, those lovely days will be over next week. We will have rain once again. The good news is, it will be warmer. It just goes to show that one can’t really have everything. Why not? Why can’t we have everything?
I’ve been carrying a heavy heart the past few weeks or so, or ever since I heard the news about a close relative who is fighting the biggest battle in her life, that dreaded C word. From afar, I pester my cousins for updates, anything. I’m like a starved person who would eat anything flung her way. I keep vigil and when I don’t hear anything from my poor family, I go to my cousins twitter accounts to see if there’s anything posted there that would give me some news or even just clues.
Being away from family is difficult especially at a time like this. For people who are not in their home-countries, that other dreaded word is – homesickness. To me it sometimes feels like an illness. A disease you ignore in the hope that it would go away, or for some miracle, totally disappear. But at the back of your head, you know it is there and ready to take its grasp on your neck and when it takes hold of you, you cannot breathe and actually feel a physical pain in your heart. Like any disease, it can and will eat you away.
Like a mantra, I whisper, home is where my husband and daughter is it doesn’t matter where we are, as long as the three of us are together. But the thing is, it does matter to me, it does matter A LOT. I miss my family and my beautiful country, the chaos, the heat, everything that makes it mine.
And since hearing about my aunt, I keep thinking oh no, not again. While being away from family, I have already lost an uncle. Though death isn’t always easy to accept especially if you are close to that person, it was sort of easy to let him go, because this uncle was always gone. He had adventures far and wide and I can say to myself that he is just off to one of his adventures. But this one is different, while she isn’t really a blood relative, she is the wife of another close uncle of mine. And growing up I have countless memories of her there, as I type this I can hear her voice in my head teasing me, talking to me, in one of our numerous Christmas festivities/summer vacations/family reunions etc. Two nights ago, I tried imagining what it would be like without her. I couldn’t. I just could not picture in my head how things would be, family gatherings without her. It just didn’t seem normal or natural.
And I worry about my cousins, though they are both adults now. I worry about how they’d take it and most of all I worry about my uncle – my mother’s youngest brother. He is more like an older brother to me than an uncle. Once I was cleaning my room and he came in without me knowing, I jumped and said “You frightened me!” He answered, “Oh Inge, I would never do that!”
I’m holding things together with very loose threads. I feel any moment it might all come undone and I will lose it and be on the first plane out of here never to come back. If only it were that easy, I have family here too and I’m not even talking about my husband and daughter (whom I will take with me wherever I go), I speak about my in-laws, my lovely in-laws who also mean the world to me.
Again, I ask the question- Why can’t we have everything?