The past couple of weeks have been, well, more than a little crazy. Three deaths, two mangled arms and one hospitalized pregnant sister-in-law. The saying “When in rains it pours” seems apt.

Life is hard. Even harder when your loved ones are in pain, emotional, physical or otherwise. I grew up surrounded by family. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great-grandparents from all sides, nearly all of them lived in Olympia. As cliche as it is, I was surrounded by love. And support. When somebody fell (and somebody was always falling – we are a very accident-prone clan) there were 25 people around to pick you back up. It’s been a lovely thing to watch the next generation come into being as my brother and cousins have started having children.

And I get to watch from the sidelines.

Don’t misunderstand me. This is not about me wanting to have children (that’s for a different post). This is about me living in Minneapolis, over a thousand miles away, literally over a thousand miles, from both my family and my significant other. This is about life through emails, phone calls and Skype. And it’s not the same. I’m not around to help pick my loved ones up when they fall. To kiss their hurts and give them hugs. To help them get through life by simply being part of their life. Dinners at home and weekends on the lake. Dropping by to say hello and staying for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

I miss home. I miss my family. I miss the physical proximity of love and support.

This didn’t bother me so much when I was a graduate student. Perhaps because I was so focused on my studies, or because I was in my twenties or because the current baby boom in my family hadn’t really gotten started. But now I am in my thirties (gasp!) feeling as though life (family) is passing me by and I’ve had my nose stuck in a book (or at the lab bench as the case may be).

One of the lovely things that has happened in my life by having Scott in it is that I get to be part of his family too. And I love that. They are no closer, in fact equally far away, in the complete opposite direction but at least now I am sandwiched between two fantastic groups of people. I am leaving tomorrow, heading to the beach, to spend some time with Scott and his family. And desperately looking forward to it. It’s only been a couple of weeks since Scott and I had a weekend together, but with all that’s happened, it feels like years.

Okay. Enough of the pity party. Tomorrow I get to go to the beach and in July Scott and I are going back to the Pacific Northwest and will probably get more family than we can handle … and hopefully a brand new healthy, happy nephew.


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