Sunday, April 12, 2009

Family Ties

We've been gone for two weeks. Just returned this weekend after an unexpected trip back to our hometown to visit a parent in the hospital. This was our first trip back since moving to New York. It's hard to come to terms with a parent that's ill when they were seemingly healthy and strong not too long ago. As you get older, the reality of your parents becoming more fragile and dependent on you becomes clearer. We begin to worry about things we didn't worry about when we were, say, in high school or college - are they taking their vitamins? Is that cold more than just a cold? Are they going to the doctor's? Are they driving carefully? What about their finances? We've reached the point of role reversal. And now it seems like we're fighting with time.

It was excrutiatingly painful to leave behind an unresolved family situation. It's more so difficult when we live so far away, what seems like almost the opposite sides of the world. But one thing we understand is that there would never have been a good time to move to New York City. There will always be something that will act as your roadblock. So as much as it's painful to be away from our family at this time, our time in New York City seems more valuable than ever since our future seems so uncertain. A now bittersweet journey that we have to make count for something. Our intention has always been to appreciate every second here, to see everything with clear eyes, to listen and enjoy each new language or street sounds we hear. Now there is more sense of urgency - to do as much as humanly possible in the possibly short time left here.

Another thing we learned about our recent visit back to our hometown was the confirmation that time and distance did not make the heart grow fonder; in fact, our hometown appeared much smaller and quieter, and not in a good way. It just confirmed the very reasons why we wanted to move away in the first place. So the prospect of moving back to the city you know you never belonged in and moving away from the place you finally feel alive in is heartbreaking. But going back to see a loved one in pain is the most heartbreaking part of it all. That is the worst reason to go back "home."