When my eldest daughter Natasha decided to leave the family nest and go to work in Sydney, Australia for a year, you can imagine the thoughts that went through my head right? So far away. So young. Will she be okay? How will she cope? How will I cope?
Eleven months into her work permit as a city centre hairdresser, (I was counting the days till her return) she went on a night out with her girlfriend Samantha and met the love of her life, John in a nightclub. Her course was set; she was to settle in Australia and only ever come back to the UK as a visitor.
It took me a few years to get over the disappointment. I missed her so much, we were so close and did so much together. I kept telling myself she would come home one day but weeks turned to months and then to years and gradually I accepted the truth. Thankfully I had a younger daughter and a son and together we found a way of adjusting to our daily lives without Natasha’s presence.
After five long years, I managed to save enough money to be able to visit their new home in Melbourne. It was comforting to see how happy she was with John and as I watched them together, building a new home together, making plans, I accepted this was her choice.
It is so difficult when one of your children decides to uproot and live in another country, especially when the country is the other side of the world. The distance is so great on many levels and conjures up so many concerns.
Time moved on and now Natasha and John have three beautiful grandchildren, Ellie 12, Grace 10 and Jimmy 9. How wonderful! How blessed I am.
Last year my ex-husband (Natasha’s dad) passed away. We parted many years ago but somehow visiting Australia this year with my husband, my youngest daughter and her young family (William 2 and baby Daisy) seemed so poignant. For the first time in so many years we were all able to sit at a table and enjoy a family meal. Such a simple thing that so many families take for granted but for me it was priceless. I cherish every memory of our days on a naturally beautiful island called Rottness off the coast of Perth. Watching the children fishing in the beautiful clear blue Indian ocean in glorious sunshine was idyllic. Quokkas (a pint-sized kangaroo) roam freely around the island – the children were mesmorized with them, as was I with the children. We even swam with dolphins together, as a family – I will cherish the memories forever.
This trip brought home to me the importance of family and how distance cannot break the bonds we have with our offspring. I have gotten used to Natasha being in Australia now. When there is a problem, I am the first to know – she calls me regularly and we chat away as if she was up the road! She is living her life the way she wants to. Australia is a wonderful country in which to raise a family; there are so many opportunities for them and little of the problems we experience in the UK.
I realised that wanting her to be in the UK with me came from a place of ego. Watching her being a mum, and a wife, and seeing her so settled was wonderful. Although I physically gave birth to her, I remembered that we all come from God and we all go back to God and what we do here on earth is simply ‘meant to be’. Our souls have already made their decisions long before they enter a body about the roles they will play, the lessons they will learn and the gifts they will bring to our planet.
We simply have to accept everything that happens in life with ease and grace. Being aware of the divine role we all play leads the way to inner peace and deep, deep joy.
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