On living far from your family and finding little connections.

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Living so far from our families is at the back of my mind a lot and since Anya was little, I have tried to find little ways to bring their presence into the routine of our daily lives. It is a tiny little way to say that even though we don’t get to see them here, they are an important part of us and our lives.

The other day as soon as we entered Trader Joe’s, I saw tuberoses (not usually found here) and instantly they reminded me of Pakistan and then my mom. So I put them in my cart as I told A about the connection I felt with them. I told her that every time we smell their beautiful fragrance in our house they’ll remind us of her and she got it! After we got home, she would happily snif at them, saying ‘ooh I love nani’.

And it made me wonder about what our kids will take from this; from a lifetime of seeing us miss our families. In us finding little ways to connect to our parents and families, through the recipes we make, through the flowers we bring in our houses, the books that lie on our shelves, the songs we listen to on the loneliest of evenings and the values we try to pass on to our kids. For me, all these little things are a bittersweet way to feel the presence of my family on a daily basis. Maybe that’s why Bilal and I love telling stories to A about our families.

If you are homesick, or if your heart is aching from being so far from your parents or your loved ones today (specially more so during the holiday season), try this. Share an advice or a story about them to your kids, bring your mom’s favorite fruit and tell your friends about it as you give it to them (like my friend did recently), watch your sister’s favorite movie, print out some family photos to put on your fridge or on your nightstand.. it helps to have little ways to feel their presence.

Near or far, hoping our kids (and ourselves) are surrounded by the love of our parents, siblings and loved ones for all of our lives.

How do you make the pain of living far from your family a little bearable for yourself? Would love to hear ideas.

Thanks for stopping by. Lots of love.

ALSO: On missing our families // Celebrating together when you’re far // Keeping your kids connected to your families the long distance way

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