The other side….
Last night we had to say goodbye to my parents again for 3 months. Early this morning they drove back to the Netherlands to spend the winter there.
Emigrating is often a great adventure, fun and exciting and for many a dream come true. But no matter how happy you are with the choice you made, there is often another side to it because you always have to leave people behind. People who you love and who love you. People you will miss terribly and who will miss you. The ones that stay behind have not made that choice, and while they probably wish you happiness and support you, it is often very difficult for them too. Especially when people get older and you realize that illness and death are getting closer. Last week, the father of a good friend passed away. Our (dutch) friend lives here, his parents in the Netherlands. Then you are again painfully aware of the fact that your loved ones in the Netherlands can pass away just like that and I get very anxious for a while.
Nowadays, it’s a lot easier for people to leave than before, with all the technology we have. We can hear and see each other as often as we want. Never the less it is not the same as when you are actually together and can touch each other. Unfortunately, it has turned out that, despite this modern technology, most of our friendships could not withstand our emigration. Fortunately, that is different with family. Living in Slovenia is definitely the right choice for us and when we left 17 years ago, we were still relatively young. Although I knew that I was going to see my parents and grandparents a lot less, at the time that was secondary to my wish to live here. In the beginning, we went to the Netherlands twice a year to see everyone, but since my grandparents unfortunately all passed away, that urge has become much less.
That’s also because I’m lucky that 8 years ago my parents, once they were both retired, decided to build a house for themselves in our village and come and live here for 6 months of the year. So I’ve seen them a lot since then. Before that, they came four times a year for a week. Fortunately, Slovenia is also not that far away and you can, if you have to, drive it in a day. We really enjoy the times they are here and do many things together.
My husband no longer has parents and the rest of his family does not live nearby. So we really enjoy having my parents close by. But the older we get, the more I think about it being over one day. That there will be very difficult times and decisions will have to be made. My parents are both over seventy but fortunately still very vital and healthy, and they always drive here or from here to the Netherlands in one day. But when, for whatever reason, they are no longer able to do so, they will choose to live in the Netherlands full-time again. I know that and I have to accept it because after all, I was the one who decided to leave. But it will be very difficult for me. Especially when one of them might get sick. Then you want to be there as many as possible and that is not possible then.
When we left here for good, at the time, saying goodbye was difficult, but the joy and excitement of the move took away much of that sadness. We were headed for a new life and were very enthusiastic. Now that is different. Saying goodbye is always difficult. Fortunately, it is only temporary for the time being and I sincerely hope that a forever goodbye is still very far in the future.