Tears roll down my face as I watch the sun slowly set behind me, over the ocean; I barely know they’re there as they slide down my cheeks. It was a good trip: productive, fun, full of purpose and connection with family I love. And so, without meaning to, I cry as my first leg of the journey leaves the Bay Area and takes me “home”ward, back to Calgary.
If you’ve never lived away from home, you might not understand how I feel every time I fly away, every time I watch my dad tear up and start crying as we say goodbye, every time I realize it will be several months to a year before I likely see my mom or brother again. And yet just a few years ago my tears were far and few between. I was on the go, away from home essentially since high school, going to university in another country and spending my summers working at different camps in another area of California. I was okay to be away for a while, happy to be here and there and popping home from time to time. Then Mikey and I got married and life was such an adventure. New, different, unexpected! We guided youth on rafting, rock climbing and back packing trips in the summer and skied down the driveway to our little trailer in the mountains in the winter. Life was simple and then, in an instant, everything changed.
Somewhere over those years I’ve become more aware of how much I love and care for my family – and maybe too keenly aware of our time apart. Many people live away from their families and my own sister- and brother-in-law live in Mongolia (!) but for some reason I find that it’s getting tougher. This recent trip back to California came at great timing as we weren’t going to be able to head down for Christmas, so the time together was sweet and fun and spontaneous! However, it was also intentional as I helped my mom learn how to navigate and manage her website (check it out!) and learn the ropes/importance of Facebook for small businesses (give her a “like” to help her out if you want!) as she and my dad just made the leap to a larger facility for their now-joint personal training fitness studio.
We took photos, shot some video and had WordPress tutorial sessions all while enjoying sunny weather, lunch with my newly married cousins and aunt and (newly retired!) uncle, did some shopping, ate some frozen yogurt and generally had a great time just being with one another.
And while there were indeed tears, there is a lingering sense of how good I have it – amazing community in family on both sides of the country (and a reminder to invest in and see my Canadian family in the same city more than I do!), great experiences on both sides of the border and a God who continues to be faithful as he leads us through life’s adventures. The tears come because my heart cares and I feel deeply, but my main sense and emotion is one of joy, gratitude and such appreciation.
This sign in my mom’s gym, a gift from her twin sister, says exactly what my heart feels right now. I soaked up the sun and am ready to head back to the snow! A new week of training, of reconnecting with my husband, of appreciating the life that God’s gifted me with awaits me. Let’s do this – life!
Live well & be well!