Hearts are breaking, and there is a great sadness in my world today. Not because the Cardinals lost the Superbowl (it was a great game, after all, and the Cards showed a lot of character); not because of anything with Groundhog Day (did he see his shadow? Did he not? Do I care?); not because the economy shows signs of worsening. No, these things don't enter my psyche today. Today my sister in law and my nieces boarded a plane. To move to Norway. Divorce is never easy, especially when it involves two contintents. And suddenly, the reality of how our family is forever changed begins to settle in. My brother will survive on letters and emails and occasional pictures and updates, and a promise of reuniting with his daughers sometime soon. I know there is rejoicing on the other side - the prodigal daughter is returning home and now her family gets a turn at being a part of the girls' every day lives. Who can blame them? They've been the ones surviving on letters all these years. Now it's their turn, and what a wonderful opportunity for the girls. But nothing will be the same for those left behind.
For me, the change is more transparent, since I moved away long before I had nieces and a sister in law. So I'm used to the occasional calls now and then, the email exchanges, and hoping to visit once a year. But for the rest of my family, who lived basically around the corner from them, it's a whole different story. And I started feeling the ache in my heart when I spoke to my mom and my sister. An ache so deep and so painful, I'd forgotten how fragile my heart really is. I can be - and usually am - awfully cold and unfeeling. I've not decided if this is because that's just the way engineers are, or if perhaps it's a coping mechanism I've built over the years to shield myself from the things I feared would break me. I don't know. Whatever it may be, though, it isn't there right now. I started having chest pains, thinking of my brother, and thought maybe I'm having a heart problem??? But then I realized, this caving, sinking, crushing feeling is the pain I'm feeling for him. I only wish I could keep it for him, so he wouldn't have to feel it himself.
3 months ago