My brother Gino is relocating back to the Philippines tonight and I will miss him. The distance from Virginia to California where he lives was far enough and now my brother will be on the other side of the globe. Every time I say goodbye to loved ones who live hundreds or thousands of miles away, a piece of home is cut from my heart.
The chance for me to move to the US came when I was in my mid 20’s. If I had stayed in the Philippines, I would not have had the opportunity to live independently. After a few years in Arkansas as an Occupational Therapist and a few more in California, I thought I had finally settled in to a happy life. Unfortunately, life events and wanderlust tugged at my heartstrings and now I’m in Virginia trying to slowly build a life again with the love of my life.
It’s an ongoing dilemma and as I get older, I often wonder if we should move back to California or seriously consider relocating to the Philippines. It is a fantasy. There are so many factors involved in moving that I only realize how much effort and energy it takes to move a life years after I’ve already settled in to my chosen location. I’m a slow learner and now that I’m 36 halfway to 37, the one sure thing I’ve learned is that time is not my friend.
My work with the elderly population gives me an idea of what might possibly be in my future. A room in a nursing facility shared with a stranger, long days of sitting in front of the television, and where food or medication handed by a nurse would be the highlight of my day and my only human interaction. There was a time when I couldn’t understand why some of my patients chose to age far from family and friends. I have realized since that years will sneak up on a person and before you know it, life is three quarters done.
The world is deemed smaller now with technology, planes and railways that the physical aspect of being around family becomes secondary. It is also idealistic and crazy to say that living close my family will make my life perfect and peaceful because it won’t. However, there is comfort in being around those who knew me before I could even walk and those I grew and matured with that no amount of technology and plane tickets can make up for. My brother is moving away and I am sad. My world is a lot bigger today and it feels like endless miles stretch over the seas.