Doesn’t seem that long, does it ? It’s not even close to being a full week. But when it proved to be the longest time our family had ever been apart, it really did seem like an eternity.
When Hubby was first assigned with an overseas business trip, we had thought about going together as a family. However, logistics and the mere fact that domestic travel with one year old twins is tough enough, we gave up on the idea. We opted for the boys and I to head out to the Big Roundabout and stay with my parents.
I don’t know who found it tougher saying good-bye at the airport. Hubby remained stoic and strong but I knew he was tearing up inside with the thought of being away from his boys for the first time.
Putting things in perspective, it was only for a short period. Probably nothing to get too emotional about.
But for me, Hubby is my crutch. When it comes to raising our twinlets, he sweeps in and takes charge of the tasks that are just too much for me to bear.
How was I going to do all of this on my own ???
Suffice to say, I had a tough time of it.
Somehow, I got through. (Hey, I’m here – typing about it, aren’t I ?)
Four nights and three days, isn’t a long time at all. Especially when it was all planned and we did all that we could to control and manage the disruption to our normal schedule as best as we could.
This past week, while I was missing my husband, I thought of the importance of belonging and family.
Our family is young. Since being a married couple, only a year and a half has passed. And since having children, we’ve just reached a year.
This first instance of absence and separation (pardon the pun) hit home. It has made me extremely aware of not only how fragile each of our existence is. But also, how each member of a family has their irreplaceable slot. Their permanent fixture.
We are all – in some way – an indispensable crutch in our own families.
Then, with tragic stories constantly in the news, it was inevitable that I also turned my thoughts and prayers to the countless of families who were affected by Japan’s devastating earthquake, tsunami and the continuing chaos of the Fukushima nuclear power plants.
On the Friday afternoon that the earthquake happened, I had friends in Tokyo who were separated from their children and their spouses overnight. Sometimes longer. As the weekend progressed and Japan tried to recover, I would receive Facebook status updates from friends as they were finally reunited with their loved ones. Messages that were touching beyond words. Expressions of relief, happiness but most of all, love. Pure unconditional family love.
The brief division of our family is nothing by comparison.
Yet, on Thursday morning, when we greeted our Papa at the airport, there were tears of joy and gratitude. Admittedly, mainly from Mama Grace.
That morning, I learned that reunions – no matter how brief the time apart – are one of the biggest blessings for any family.
It’s a poignant moment when we are reminded who needs us the most.
Where we naturally belong.