This morning as we were Skype-ing with Waliya, my youngest sister, with a big loving smile on her face Anya suddenly took the laptop and hugged her Walu and left me and my sister both teary eyed. With a lump in my throat, I thought of this road we have ended up upon, a lifetime of living so far away from the ones we grew up around.
On our last visit to Pakistan, even though she was having the most fun with everyone all day every day, at night when I would lie down with her she would tell me how much she missed her home, her room and her baba (once he returned back) and that she needed to go back. And once we got back home, she was so excited that in the early days when I was drowning in nostalgia and missing my family, Anya was all happy. And yet now though, almost a month later, at random times she will tell me that she had so much fun with her khalas, or that she misses her nani, or wants to go her phupo’s or apa’s house, and sometimes with such a sad tinge to her voice that my heart aches as I know that that cannot happen in the near future.
It kind of broke my heart a little bit and I tried to explain the bittersweet reality of our life and how it feels like our heart is always being pulled in two directions. When we’re in Pakistan we keep thinking of our home and our life as a family, but when we’re here back home, it aches so much many times for simple every day moments with loved ones. For a 4 year old, the concept is probably hard to grasp but I get the feeling she’s already begun to understand this reality of our life.
Some days each of us living the expat life wake up thinking of our families and questioning our choices. But it is becoming a part of our life, of who we are. And we learn to make the most of whatever time we get with our loved ones. I always tell myself, I would rather have them happy and healthy even if I don’t get to see them for months at a time. And yet each of us that is able to visit or see our families every year even, are some of the lucky ones.
Thanks for reading. Lots of love.
Photos from our visit to our visit to Pakistan in Winters of ‘13-‘14