Thursday, July 3, 2014

Saying goodbye to my inlaws & the pains of living abroad


A lot of people are relieved when their inlaws leave after a visit. They may say "Finally, I can have my life back!!!" or "Finally, we can have some privacy..."

But not me...

We recently met up with my inlaws for a family vacation to Venice, and after less than a week of being together, we had to say goodbye yet again. I got emotional. My MIL cried. Maya started screaming as the water taxi pulled away...

We returned back to Vancouver, back to an empty house. I felt the heaviness in my heart knowing that I'd have to wait another half a year to see them. Every day that I take Maya out - to swimming, to the park - I wish they were here to come along too to see her play.

We make it a rule to see my inlaws twice a year. We are always together to celebrate Christmas and Maya's birthdays in the Summer. But somehow, it just doesn't feel enough. The long gap in between, even though it is only 6 months, feels like a lifetime.

It is more noticeable after having kids because they grow up so fast. In the short time frame of 6 months, they turn into a different kid. They have new interests, they learn new things... It's a 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' kinda thing.

Each time they come, it is getting continually harder and harder to say goodbye. We are separated by oceans, time zones and thousands of miles. We are separated by work obligations and immigration obstacles.

There is nothing more heartbreaking and heart wrenching than living abroad from your family. Even with modern day technologies like Skype and Vonage, it is simply not the same as being together in person. I want my inlaws to be a part of Maya's life on a daily basis, not just once every 6 months.


I think one of the reasons why I like being a part of an Indian family is the constant togetherness. If you can find a way to get along, being together is so much fun. You learn so much from each other in simple conversations over meals, you share laughs over silly everyday things, and most importantly, you watch the little ones grow together...

The bond that I have developed with my inlaws has been like inheriting a second set of parents. They are so different from my own, but we share the same love for each other as if they were my own flesh and blood. I miss them like I would my own parents. In a sense, I hate even calling them "my inlaws", which sounds a lot like "outlaws". What would be more fitting is "my Indian parents".

I am just waiting for the day when our parental sponsorship application is approved and they can come and live here and we can spend time with each other on a daily basis. In Canada, it takes a maximum of 9 years, and we are on year 4. Thinking that it might take up to 5 more years for them to live here brings tears to my eyes. And there is absolutely nothing we can do about it, but wait...and pray...

Our time is so limited, here on Earth. And I don't want to spend it with our family living separately, divided by continents.

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10 comments

  1. Alex I totally understand your feelings. I felt the same way when I left my Indian family in India, or when we talk on webcam and my niece and nephew are there and I just want to be reunited once again. Its HARD living apart! I love the pictures!

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    1. It is really hard :( Nowadays everyone is spread out across the globe.

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  2. I really miss mine too! As well as my own family...living away from everyone we care about is difficult. It is a constant state of cognitive dissonance.

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    1. God, living apart from both parents is even harder :( Do you guys have plans to move back near?

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  3. Hello!! It is awesome that your indian parents are eager to relocate in your country, mine will never do, it is so tough :(

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    1. Thanks, yes I must look at the bright side. So many elders do not want to leave their home country, for some it is too hard. We have a lot of friends with parents like that too.

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  4. Alex,

    What a beautiful relationship you have with your inlaws. Love the picture of your Father in law holding Maya, adorable picture. My heart goes out to all of you, as your relationship has grown from the very beginning. They will be a loving part of you for the rest of your life. I was sad to read about your post, saying goodbye. Time will fly by fast and you will get to see them soon. I know the closeness that you share with your MIL and FIL. I had the same relationship with my MIL and sadly, she passed away 2 weeks ago. Hearts are heavy and time goes by WAY too fast. You now have lots to look forward together, birthday celebrations and other holidays. Glad you are feeling better, have a wonderful weekend!

    Melissa

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    1. Melissa, I am so so so sorry to hear about your dear MIL, that is so hard. Condolences to you and your family, how difficult :((( All my love to you guys....

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  5. It's so lovely and refreshing to read your blog. I love the love and respect you have for your Indian parents. Just so you know I always look forward to reading your new posts! :)

    Saleha

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    1. Thanks Saleha! It has been a long road with my inlaws but it has made the journey even sweeter. More than anything, I am grateful for having them in my life.

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