We are all settled into our new place and loving it! The apartment is so much bigger, so much nicer, in such a better community and neighborhood than before, right next to a beautiful little park, and yet I’ve found myself feeling a bit down lately. As my husband was searching for work, we were just praying and praying for a job anywhere he could find one. We knew that with today’s economy we couldn’t be picky with location. And as we prayed, we always asked that, if possible, we find a job near at least some family. We knew it would never be possible to be near both of our families since my parents live a good 700 miles away from my husband’s. We searched for jobs near my family, his family, and everywhere in between! And we were incredibly blessed that he found a wonderful job in his field and near family. Near his family that is.
To be fair, it is not only near his family. I have aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and friends within an hour drive of our new location. I grew up just over an hour away from where we are now. But my parents and my sisters are a minimum of 700 miles away. My father had a job transfer while I was in college that took the family a good 11 hour drive away. I chose to stay at my school and the decision definitely paid off since I met my husband through a friend at school and through our attending the same Parish. But it has still always been hard being so far from my family.
I am very blessed that I get along so well with my husband’s family. You always hear people complaining or getting into huge arguments and fights over in-law issues. I am very happy to be able to say in all honesty that I love my in-laws, that my husband loves my family, that they all love him, and even that his family and mine get along so well together! It makes holidays, get togethers, and just everything so much easier!
All that being said, while I am certainly very aware of my blessings, it doesn’t change the fact that I am only able to visit with my family maybe twice a year. Sometimes that bothers me more than other times. And lately, I’ve been in a place where it’s been on my mind a lot. In our old place, we were a good 3 hours from his family and had no other family near us. When we moved there, we didn’t know anyone. It was like we were both in this together. Now, in our new place, it’s different. My husband’s parents are only 15 minutes away from us (and honestly, that’s if there’s traffic.) While I’m so happy to be near family, it’s been tough. It’s hard to know that we can decide on a whim to meet up with his brothers and their girlfriends one night just for fun. Or that with a short notice we can just pop by to say hi. That we can have them over anytime we want to see new decor, to try out a new recipe, or just to visit. It’s hard to know all of that and then to sit and realize I haven’t seen my sisters since Christmas and it won’t be until this Christmas that I am able to visit with them in person again. Today’s technology makes it a lot easier. We can text, Facebook, call, or even video chat with each other. And I’m very thankful for that. But there are days when I really just want to show my mom a new dress I made. Or share a new recipe with my sister. Or just take a walk in the park with my Dad and their new family dog.
As soon as I start to have these thoughts I begin to feel selfish. What right do I have to feel sad about being far from family? I am blessed to have a family I can keep in touch with and that I am so close with. I am so thankful for the technology we do have. I am so thankful that my family is all in good health and that we are financially steady enough to see them at least once or twice a year. And I know how incredibly blessed we are to have my husband get such an amazing job opportunity right our of grad school and close to family that I love, even if it’s not my parents or sisters. The truth is, we could have ended up in the middle of nowhere without any family at all which would have been so much harder. And there are many people who live so close to family but don’t get along. Many others still who can’t afford to visit relatives or who don’t have families to even visit.
I am so so very thankful that even though we were not able to visit my family this summer and they were not all able to come visit us, my mom was able to get a flight to come see our new place. She stayed with us all last week while my husband started his first week of work and we had the best time. We visited, we talked, we prayed, we decorated, we cooked, we just had the best time. That was such a blessing. Since I have not found work yet, once my husband leaves for work in the morning, it is easy to get a little bored, a little lonely. Having my mom with me especially the first week my husband was working full-time at the new job was just wonderful. And I suppose it is the fact that a few days ago she left that is making me miss her and my Dad and sisters all the more.
While my mom was here we talked about how hard it can sometimes be. We talked about how we both have days where we really miss each other. And then we started talking about God’s Will. We started talking about how Mother Mary said YES to God. And how that YES changed her life forever. She traveled with Joseph to Bethlehem while pregnant with Jesus. She was not surrounded by her parents and family when she gave birth to our Lord. And she was not able to rush over the next day and show her mother her beautiful grandson. Instead, she and Joseph were on the run in Egypt to protect the baby Jesus from Herod’s decree. Despite the fact that Mary was not near her parents or birth family. She was doing God’s will and was with her husband and with the Lord. And throughout the life of Jesus, Mary watched her precious Son grow up and travel around, only to be put to death. Still, she remained faithful to God’s will.
While my mom was here with me she said she often thinks that perhaps we are all spread out because we are needed in different parts of the world. My sisters are in various states for college. All of us are spread out. But all of us are very serious in our faith. Perhaps God has placed us in different locations so that we can help share our faith with many people in many places.
I know there are days when I will miss being close to my mom. I know there are times when I will hear a friend talk about stopping by her parents after work just for a visit and I will wish I could do the same. I know there are times when I will think about when one day I have children of my own and how I will be able to share that joy with my mother when she is far away. But when I am faced with those thoughts, I know I just need to trust. To trust in God and be thankful for all that I do have. A loving husband. Wonderful in-laws close by. Extended family and friends only an hour away. And I can’t forget my wonderful little pup who keeps me company throughout the day! And the technology to remain close with my sisters, my mom, and my dad, even though hundreds of miles may separate us. We are blessed to have the relationships that we do with each other and I know that. I know that God has a plan for me and my husband and for my parents and sisters as well. I know that even on days where my husband is at work late and I am home by myself, I am never truly alone. I know that God is always by my side. I know His angels are watching over me. And I know that when times get tough, I can give always call and of my sisters, my mom, or my dad just to chat. But more importantly, when I start to feel sad, I know I can call on my Heavenly Father and the intercession of Mother Mary to remind me I am never truly alone and to wrap me in the peace of Our Lord as I pray for the strength to do His will.