I arrived home in Scotland yesterday, a month later than my initial plan. Home, and heartbroken…
My holiday was meant to be a wonderfully happy and joyful three weeks at home in Cle Elum with my parents to celebrate Christmas and to make up for the time we lost over the COVID19 lockdowns when travelling home wasn’t possible.
And it started out as planned (including a long list of household chores that were waiting for me). There was gingerbread house making and Christmas dinner eating. And there was support and cheers from the parentals as I worked towards (and met) my 2021 running goals. And there was love, laughter, and joy.
And then Mum, who was already feeling a little weak and tired, became ill. Very ill. She was admitted to hospital and I rearranged my flights (three times in total) to be there with her and for her, and for Daddy.
And then, she died. And the heartache began.
I spent the last two weeks of my holiday as my father’s shadow of sorts. Supporting him and helping him along the way as best as I could. And now, we’re both on our own for the first time since Mum died. This means it’s time that we each start to truly process it all as we move forward into this new life we face: Me without a Mum and him without a wife. Oh, how that breaks my heart.
My returns to Scotland are always hard; I always cry and I always question my expat life and where “home” is. Saying goodbye to my parents at the airport has always been hard; I always wonder when I will see them again; if I will see them again. I never know if this goodbye is the last goodbye.
And this goodbye was harder than the last goodbyes because I didn’t say goodbye to my parents; I only said goodbye to my father because I said goodbye to my mother two weeks before.
This goodbye was harder than the last goodbyes… and now I am home, and heartbroken…
And although I am heartbroken, I need to jump straight into work. I have a lot to catch up on after being away from my normal work routine for so long. And that means that I have a little while longer before I have the space to really think; to really process these past few weeks.
When I finally
have the time make the time to reflect, I know that my heartbreak will feel so much worse than it feels now. Because, for now, it’s all a dream. A bad dream that I know I won’t wake from.
I am home… and heartbroken. But I will be OK (eventually).