My dear Mother-In-Law, Nonna, wrote from her perspective of missing us while the family in the states continues the celebrations of the holidays. I love her open heart in sharing with us. Enjoy the read. Maybe grab a kleenex!
1.5 years. 18 months. 78 weeks. 547 days. 13,128 hrs.
That’s the countdown I started with in Sept. of 2014, the amount of time that would pass before I could hold my kids and grand-babies again…ominous.
We’ve missed Christmases, Birthdays, first words, first steps, first day of school for Bub and countless hugs and kisses, tears and giggles. Having our loved ones in another country is hard and during the holidays it’s especially hard. The season of joy can easily become the season to just “get thru” because you have to. Yes, we are “celebrating” and are happy to be with our other children and family members but there’s still something missing. A big part of our hearts are living in another country and there’s nothing we can do about it. We are here. They are there. It stinks! For us, being around our family table eating the Thanksgiving turkey or the Monaco Christmas spaghetti isn’t quite as sweet because four chairs are missing. Four of our favorite faces, smiles, laughs and hugs. How they interact with us, our son’s corny jokes and our Anna’s sweet presence. The way our Bub would love being the center of attention, and receiving Honey Bear’s sweet kisses. Skype/FaceTime is great but we can’t hug or kiss them, feel our grand-babies little arms around our necks or smell their sweet heads. And it’s not just Nonna and Papa (that’s me and my hub) who are hurting, our other kids have had to live this as well. Their best friends and sweet nephew and niece are missing from the family table and they miss them terribly!
All that being said we couldn’t be more proud of our kids. Tho we are here and they are over 4,500 miles away from us we have so much to be grateful for. They are happy and healthy, they are learning and sharing, the Grands get to experience things at the ages of 1 and 2 that we haven’t! They have eaten some strange foods, traveled on trains, planes and taxis, climbed mountains, played in the ocean and learned new languages. They have walked thru marketplaces full of color, smells and sounds that fill all of their senses and broaden their love of the world. We have watched our Grands grow not only in stature but in their love of people and adventure. They are fearless and brave about things that would scare most of us and not afraid of people that don’t look or live the way we do here in the U.S. It’s a gift that will forever be a part of who they are and who they will become.
Obviously it’s not perfect, we miss them every day. I love them more than life so I think about them constantly. We are going thru a time right now that Bub doesn’t want to say goodbye because it makes him sad so we put on a happy face, sing their song and say “See you later”. Then when the computer screen goes black and they can no longer see us we are sad and we cry. Friends don’t truly understand, no matter how hard they try, and you have people that tell you all the bad things when they hear where your kids are. But its do-able. We have learned to be grateful for Skype, FaceTime, texting and even Facebook to share photos and news. We talk when we can and lift them up knowing they are in our Father’s hands. We can easily get lost in the sadness and heartbreak, and I have been there, I have grieved. Thankfully we are on the down side of their time in Africa and I can’t wait for them to come home!! We are having Christmas (again) when they come back to the states and I am so excited! No, it won’t be Dec. 25 but it will be all of us together, celebrating. Not only do we celebrate the glory of His birth, but we celebrate the joy of family and being together. And isn’t that what makes this life beautiful?