Though it’s true that living in Spain means that I’m in a different country, on a different continent, and in a different time zone than my family in the US, it hasn’t really felt like I’m that far away. The phone makes everything feel closer and Spain lives at night, so the time change hasn’t been too difficult to work around. But, as my family gathers today in Arizona to meet the new addition to the family, my brother and his fiancee’s daughter, for the first time, the distance seems great and I suddenly feel like I’m very far away. Phones may be great for talking but there’s nothing like seeing and touching and interacting.
David and I moved to Spain partly to be near family. In New York, we were strategically in the middle between our two families but also far from both. In moving to Spain, we felt that at least we would be near David’s family. And that’s definitely true and we’re enjoying having his mom with us and seeing his sister who’s also visiting from Paris. But the fact of the matter is that, after 36 years, my brother had his first child, and I’m not there. And I wish I was. Even the beaches, sun and laid back lifestyle of Spain can’t compensate for the fact that I’m missing out on a special and life-changing moment.
I console myself with thoughts that, by being far away, David and I can open a new world to little Amaya. She can come visit us and learn Spanish and meet her family in Europe. I tell myself that I am happy that my family can gather together. I am grateful that Amaya is healthy and that Johanna is recovering well. And I remind myself that the world does not revolve around me. As far as Amaya is concerned, she is surrounded by love and happiness and family and surely she won’t hold it against me that I was absent for this very special occasion.