We know that we live far away and we know that we chose to create that distance between us, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t love you, miss you, and wish that we were closer.
We are relatively alone—there isn’t any family here to swing by for a chat, to help babysit our kids, or to invite us over for a nice dinner. We’ve created new “family” in the way of friends who are also geographical orphans, but there is still a pause that happens before we think about imposing on a friend.
Some of these “family” friendships are new and possibly tenuous relationships that may only exist because we are all in the same boat. Without a deeper connection, it is easy to overstep boundaries and so, in most cases, we choose not to impose.
We’d rather be alone and keep those friendships rather than potentially lose our only sources of local support. We need to save those requests in case of an emergency; not for a daily pick-me-up.
Technology makes it is easier to live far from family more than ever before, but the emotional distance is still great. We can regularly chat face-to-face through our phones and on our computers for free. (Remember the days of expensive calling cards where you’d have to dial a million numbers?)
We can see pictures of baby showers and weddings on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We can see what you ate for dinner last night. We can know as much as we want to know about each other and it doesn’t cost anything but our time and attention.
There are times when we feel isolated, unwanted, and lonely when all we want is to feel accepted, loved, and understood.
We know that our geographical distance may preclude our involvement in significant celebrations like births, weddings, anniversaries, family reunions, and funerals. We so wish we could attend them all but we cannot. We all know and understand those limitations.
But please, don’t forget about us.
Don’t forget that we want to send our love in the way of cards, gifts, emails, video messages, anything to feel a bit of connection. In order to have the opportunity for those cards, gifts, or well wishes to make it to you on time, we need to know when these events are happening. We need an invitation—formal or casual—into your lives. An invitation is not begging for gifts, it is a gesture that says, “We’d love to share this moment with you.”
We know we are far away, but please don’t make us feel distant.
Your far away family
Do you live in Europe and want to read Knocked Up Abroad this week?