Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Love keeps us near

Sometimes I think about how far we've come in a our three and a half years here.  I imagine and relive our first few days, comparing those hazy memories to our life now.  Fear and confusion replaced by confidence and security, tinged with happiness, spotted with challenges.

I look at our family.  The boys who consider Budapest home, and the States an exotic vacation destination.  Navigating car rides and countries and kids entirely on our own.

When I drive down the street these places that were once so foreign are now filled with memories.  The bakery where we take our kids for treats.  The road to the hospital where Benjamin was born.  The coffee and book shop where he slept in my arms as an infant and dirtied his pants with crawling and now runs like a mad man, playing away with his little friend.

But the memories, both happy and hard, are tainted with gaps.  Moments of dead air where we most acutely feel our distance from home.  Those times of joy and hardship that we are simply not there for.

Three and a half years and I still haven’t figured it out.  How to celebrate new life without holding it, how to be there through surgeries and sickness without stepping through the tinted hospital doors, how to care without hands, to comfort without hugs.

And while we try to do these things from afar, we fail to accomplish that which we would back home.  There are just some moments where a phone call won’t suffice, where hundreds of words lack the simple power of presence, where hoping for help falls short of offering it.

So I simply understand that this, also, is life here.  Memories built and memories missed.  I don’t think, anymore, it’s a matter of importance.  This life trumping that one.  Just that we’re more aware of our choices.

Had we stayed back home we would still be losing out on memories.  We wouldn’t know it and we wouldn’t feel it in the hard way we do here, but I can’t imagine erasing these years of snapshots, and can’t really picture who I’d be right now without them.

I suppose this aspect of life is unchanging here.  It touched our very first days and continues even now.  It’s the same old bitter and sweet, just a slightly different flavor each month, each day.

When we chose this path I expected hardship, but hoped it would quickly fade.  Instead I am learning it changes, morphing and evolving with time.

There's one thing the distance doesn't change, though.  Love.

And I think that alone crosses distance and time zones.  I think it passes through phone lines and e-mails, from one heart to another.

And I'm thankful that while physical distance keeps us far from home, love keeps us near.

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