Today I will thank the blizzard as my inspiration to write about something so near and dear to my heart—my family.
Moving away from home in my early 20s taught me many things, but most importantly of all, it taught me that living thousands of miles away from my family was much too difficult for me. It created a void that nothing else could fill, not even the beautiful San Francisco sights and weather, fresh seafood, or amazing career opportunities. I needed to learn the hard way as I often do that nothing really compares to home. Some people are chomping at the bit to move away from home for a variety of reasons; perhaps they need to test their independence, break away from rules, experience something new, and similarly immerse themselves in a different culture. For some, to take adventures is to feel alive. For me, I probably needed a little of all the above, but it did not take long for me to realize that leaving those I love so much created a nagging feeling, a missing piece of the puzzle, a cup needing to be refilled.
Upon moving back to the tundra, many people would question the obvious—freezing conditions and often unbearable temperatures versus more temperate moderate weather with a nearby ocean? Some of these people simply could not understand it. Why would you want to live a harder life in a harsh climate?
I would clarify life was harder and harsher without them, regardless of what Mother Nature was doing outside my four walls. I would explain—“I would live in the North Pole or a sauna if it meant I could be with my family.” Simply stated, they put the nagging feeling to rest, put the last missing puzzle piece into place, and truly filled up my cup. Without them, I’m a mediocre version of myself. Because of them, I thrive.
I’ve been able to watch my niece and nephews develop into beautiful little human beings. Who would I be if I wasn’t able to witness my niece’s excitement as she lost her first front tooth and experience her silly toothless grin and heartwarming laughter? Who would I be if I couldn’t watch my nephew break dance on the living room floor or perfect the “Gangnam Style” dance (better than any other 4-year-old I know). Or who would I be if I couldn’t respond to my one-year-old nephew when he yells, “Na!” The truth is…I wouldn’t be the same.
Of course I wouldn’t be where I’m at in every other sense as well—a hospice nurse, a wife to a strong Midwestern man. And of course I wouldn’t be the proudest mother of this little girl of mine. I don’t even need to elaborate on how much she fills up my cup, as most of writing has evolved because of her.
I flash back to one of my favorite episodes of Sex and the City and remember a quote (fiction or not, gotta love Sarah Jessica Parker’s depiction of the character, Carrie). She says, “Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives? Perhaps if we never veered off course, we wouldn’t fall in love, or have babies, or be who we are. After all, seasons change. So do cities. People come into your life and people go. But it’s comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart. And if you’re very lucky, a plane ride away.”
I second that, Carrie.