Once people realize I’m an American living in England and not just here for a visit, they always ask me if I miss my life in the US. My response never varies when I tell them that I miss my daughter, other family members, and my friends. Of course there’s more that I miss, but not being able to easily see the people I love does make it tough at times.
Unlike immigrants who left their homeland in the days before airplanes, telephones, and the internet, moving to another country doesn’t have to be a total or permanent separation from those you love.
My daughter is pretty easy to reach by phone so that helps a bit and she sends me photos fairly often too. They don’t always have her in them, but may be more of what she’s seeing, like a smoky red sunset seen over the darkened parking lot of the company where she works or a funny bumper sticker on the car in front of her, taken at a red light. Random quick snaps that help me see what she sees as she goes through her day make me feel a bit closer as if she’s just across town instead of the other side of the Atlantic.
Her point of view photos like the image above can make it seem as if I am actually there with her, feeling the evening sun on my face and seeing the breeze blowing through her horse’s mane, enjoying as she said later, ‘ The best way to end a weekend.’
My favorite ones tend to be the last ones, those that I know come at the end of her day. They are the unexpected ‘goodnight’ photos that I wake up to over coffee and the perfect start to my new day.
Both photos were taken by my daughter, Miranda and used with her permission.
AND…your blogs help my day start on a positive note too. Thanks. You’ve helped reinforce somthing that I know to be true…it is the people in your life that bring you true meaning and joy. There is NOTHING that compares to the love of family and friends. BTW…what a beautiful daughter and grand-dog.
Thanks, Lani. I’m glad you enjoy my posts and you’re right, nothing else compares to the love and connection of family and friends … and a grand-dog or two. 🙂
Out of desperation for a daily connection, I discovered a webcam of a nearby Dartmoor farm that I look at every morning before I start my day. For a split second, envisioning life across the pond helps me grind through the rigors of corporate life in the US. I am getting closer to starting the UK chapter of my life, but it takes courage. I salute you for making the choice to follow your heart. I know, I will miss my sons and my parents, but perhaps it is time for my kids to fly on their own.
Armella, I completely get the part about needing to start your day seeing something here (the Dartmoor farm) that gives you peace in order to get through of the stress of corporate life. I still remember how much I missed because my mind was so preoccupied with the demands of my work life. I know you’re almost here … and one day soon you and I will have long walks on Dartmoor and along the Cornish coast. Maybe you could leave a link to the farm webcam then I could see what you see each morning.
I love the horse photo and how I felt pulled into motion by the way it’s framed. I will carry that image around in my head today and smile.
And your thoughts on distance and family are so beautifully recorded, Elizabeth. My parents live 3,000 miles away, and I try to share pictures of the kids with them regularly, but I love the idea of quick point-of-view “this is how I see the world” snapshots. What a special way to communicate.
I felt the same way when I saw the horse photo, Laura. I loved the way she framed it. Knowing how much she loves her horse, I could almost feel it in the photo, the wind and light and love, it’s special!
I wonder what it might be like if those of us with family far away carried a small camera or cell phone around and snapped photo moments of what we were seeing and doing through one whole day and then sent them off to the distant family member. I’d love to receive a gift like that from Miranda. It would be great way to connect with folks who don’t like to have their picture taken too.
Oh WOW, what great pics of the Munchkin! Love them both! That horse pic is art! The other one is love! 😉
Kimball … She does look happy hugging her boy! Ry looks a bit bothered though posing for a picture that late at night ( I think that’s his ‘Oh Mommm!’ look ), but I was tickled to see Miranda’s sweet face and just had to share the shot she took on horseback while riding into the light.
Oh your darling daughter has her mothers beauty! I can see the love in her eyes and in her dogs eyes too! The pic on the white horse riding into the sun is particularly arresting as it brings to mind what a glory the LORD sheds on our way and the victory found in Him…”The LORD God is a sun and a sheild, He will give grace and glory, no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly. Oh LORD God of Hosts, how blessed is the one who trusts in You!” Psalms 84:11-12. I’ve just spent the most incredible weekend with Beth Moore and 9000 other women crammed into the Long Beach Arena to learn about “Claimin Naaman”…how sin comes up through the bloodlines and what we might be required to do in order to receive our healing by faith! (2 Kings Chapter 5) Talk about powerful! I got to meet our “Mama Siesta” backstage for a brief moment with about 100 other “Siestas” – those active on the LPM blog. Joy unspeakable and full of glory!
lovely that Miranda sends you lots of photos .. especially to wake up to and see her smiling face :-). My sons don’t live that far away .. (1 hour north and 1 hour west) of Oxford.. and sometimes it is hard to get hold of them .. I did actually speak to both of them today ha ha . Would it change if I emigrated .. LOL .
Aww. I love all of that. Just when I want to gripe about how technology puts up walls, keeps people from relating to each other…and so on, there you go and show me that when used well (blogging, email, and pics) it can bring us together so well.
I miss my friends in Canada, but we go back every year, sometimes several times, to keep those ties strong. I miss some cultural elements and my personal history, but New York, finally, has begun to feel more like “home” as well. It can take a lot longer than you think, or hope.
I wonder sometimes if I will ever feel like I don’t have a foot in both countries, Caitlin. I am very happy here, but I do feel the distance especially knowing I am missing the everyday bits of life happening with my family in the US.