Thursday, April 14, 2011

a feeling of longing

Last night, I was watching Survivor, as I always do on Wednesday evening (addicted, I admit it!), when I checked facebook (another frequent occurence). I find it somewhat difficult to keep up with people sometimes, as the "feed" on facebook seems to operate in such a strange way. Random people that I should probably delete from facebook are always popping up, but then two weeks will go by and I don't see a peep from my sister, but then going to her page, I'll see all sorts of things that I somehow missed.

I saw a status update from a good friend's mother (and good family friend as well) and saw that my mother commented, and I noticed at first because she wrote "lexi" in her note. I clicked on her page, and saw a list of, quite literally, about 75 replies, all coming from my mother, my sister and her two daughters, who are very close friends of my sister and I. D and my mother are good friends- D's two daughters, K and K, are each a year older than my sister and I, and all are close family friends, as I said. We all grew up together, spending holidays, birthdays and everything in between together. Some of my best memories involve these ladies. I can't remember what D's original status was, but somehow it turned into a conversation about the six of us all getting together for a weekend. D, K and K are all in my hometown, where my parents still live. My sister (B) is in Boston, and I am way down here, in Washington, DC.


Not alone, but not that close to them and I was suddenly hit with an overwhelming sense of homesickness, so much that I spent the next hour trying to convince Steve that we should move to Boston (for reference, Boston is about an hour and a half from my hometown in NH).

Steve, not surprisingly, is not terribly on board with the idea.

For as much of me that wants to move closer to my family in NH, the same part of him wants to move closer to his family in Iowa. It really makes me sad sometimes, to know that my children will never be close to their grandparents the way I was growing up. Both sets of mine lived in my hometown and they were (are) a huge part of my life. This isn't something new, but something that I've struggled with for the entire time I've lived here in DC. Of course, I knew this moving here, but perhaps part of me didn't think I'd stay here as long as I have. Part of me thought I might move back after a few years. I just wish that I could easily hop in a car and drive home for a weekend, or even an afternoon.

Saudade, or saudades (plural), is a Portuguese language word difficult to translate adequately, which describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost. It often carries a fatalist tone and a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might really never return.

(the painting shown above was on the wiki page...I really like the painting and wouldn't mind a copy of it....)

Where did you grow up and do you live nearby there now? What do you do when you are feeling homesick?


Annie said...

My philosophy is - an airplane can getcha there in less than a couple hours so just jump on one some time when you need to see them. That's basically what I do since I'm an 8 hour drive away (well when flights are reasonsable!). It's tough though, I'm with ya!

Valerie and Jeff said...

Well we would love to have you here i Iowa! ... but I know you would be homesick. It's a slower pace here. (understatement)
I lived next door to my Grandparents while growing up in a town like Mulbury, way small and friendly. Even though I only live an hour from where I grew up--with my dad and Grandparents in heaven it's sad--especially since Jeff is from 8 hours away from here and his Dad is in heaven too (yes, no grandpas for my boys!)
The unforeseen bummer about living far away from family is that ALL your vacations are trips home NOT a real vacation ... which may not seem like a big deal now ... but 10 years into it with in-laws that are irritating or meddling ... well ... that changes things. Perhaps it could be different if the grandparent were willing to travel. Good pre-marriage discussion for sure!
I would be very sad if I lived far far away from my family! Even though it's an hour ... that's not bad.

Heidi said...

adam and i both wanted to live close to our parents thus why we moved to CT. Unfortunately, you've gotta go where jobs/money are for survival in our case and that was here. It's going to be tough not having our families near by - especially when my sister esp sees my mom often (way more often than i do). I miss the ease of living in Boston when i could hop on a bus and be home in a few short hours :( I know how you feel but then i think about how grateful i am for the family i've created down here with my amazing pals (LIKE YOU!! <3) :)

But yeah, i totally relate <3

eas said...

I'm from Northern California and my husband is from Northern Virginia. we live in Arizona so we get homesick a fair amount and hope to move back to one or the other soon. When I'm homesick I plan a trip back home so it gives me something to look forward to.

Anonymous said...

I understand the feeling wholeheartedly. I miss Connecticut like whoa these days.

My husband is from the PA and has no interest whatsoever to move to Connecticut. My parents plan to retire to Florida or Georgia, so I think husband and I will move down there ahead of them and settle, then they'll move down and our children will be nearby their grandparents. And I'll be able to take care of my parents as they age. That's how I'd like for it to work, but we'll see. Life has a funny way of working things out.

When I'm homesick, I call the hell out of my parents and talk to them. And if I can, I'll take a trip home. I haven't been home since August and I'm super-homesick. I'll see my parents and sister next week in Oklahoma, where my sister is, which will be nice, but it's not home, you know?

Hang in there, I empathize!

Kimberley said...

We love you Lexi....and we hope we can alllll get together soon for some mother-daughter-sister-friend bonding soooooooon! I'm grateful to have you in my life...even if it is from afar. :-)

Shoshanah said...

Yes, I feel this way too. I feel guilty everytime I take a trip that isn't back home to visit. And it sucks knowing that my future children aren't going to be living to close to both of their grandparents no matter where we decide to live. We just need to invent some sort of instant travel machine so going to visit doesn't take nearly as long.