The blues

19 Aug

There are some particular periods when I feel really blue about being so far away from my parents and this is perhaps the hardest few weeks for me mentally. My dad retired  a few weeks ago and my parents will be packing up their home of a few years and saying good bye to the service life they have known for 38 years or so. They are cleaning the house from top to bottom, planning the logistics of the move – they like me do not do straight forward moves,  and are figuring out how to deal with the changes.

If that wasn’t enough, my baby sister( baby no more at 21) is off to grad school in Europe in a few days and my folks will be empty nesters for the first time ever. When you have two kids so far apart in age, you push out empty nesting till you are in your 60s and it seems worse than it is in your 50s. Maybe because you grow to depend on the one child who is home for the in between years? My sister has definitely grown into an adult faster than I ever did . She’s seen more ups and downs at close quarters living at home. Stuff I never worried about at 18, (seriously my biggest worry was whether the husbadoo would ever ask me out at 18) my sis has had to deal with. She’s  fought more with my parents, cried more, argued more too. But she has also vacationed more, had more hugs, helped them more, shared more laughs and happy times. So her leaving home now is a huge deal for all three of them.

So with all these changes at home, I yearn to be closer. I wish I could help in some way. I  question my own life decisions several times a day- the path I followed career wise , the fact I choose to go to grad school in the US, the fact that we will probably never live in India given our career paths. Family is the only reason that ever puts these thoughts in my head.

I comfort myself with thoughts of I could not have done much being home anyway. They have help with the packing and logistics itself. From an emotional standpoint, it would be nice if I was there , but that’ s about it. Maybe I could have at most I thrust myself and Bandar into their lives as a fun distraction as they go through this phase of change. I try and make up for my presence with phone calls.

The conversations with my parents over the last few weeks have been strange. For the first time in years , my mom has expressed she misses us (I know she says Bandar always, and usually means Bandar, but off late, I know she means me too). She expresses sadness when I need to get off the call for chores or anything else and wishes I could talk longer every day.I am trying to figure out how to have longer, uninterrupted calls with her as it seems to give both of us a sense of peace.This is the most expression I am ever going to get from my mom as far as missing me goes.

My dad has thankfully( for his sanity and ours)  accepted a temporary work gig and is awfully busy. But expressing his feelings hasn’t been ever a problem for my dad. He says he misses me terribly often. He has stayed clear of telling me to return to India because of mom telling him not to interfere in our lives. So with that, the most he says now is to visit as often as I can, which is at most once a year. With my mom still working, their US visits are barely 2 weeks at a time. Mine at home India is again a maximum of two weeks as I have to split the days with my in laws as well. But this is the best we have for the next few years. I hope and dream that one day they will be able to spend 6 months with us in the US , but a part of me wonders if that is what they want and if they will be comfortable doing it.Only time will tell.So in the meantime, though ticket prices in December pierce  my thrifty heart, I am starting to think about a trip home.

I get that this is a pointless post, but I do feel a little better putting it down for some reason.So , oh well!

19 Responses to “The blues”

  1. Bhavani August 19, 2015 at 10:10 pm #

    Hugs Pop!!! I think almost each one of us can relate to your post…..In my case I have had the good fortune of Parents staying with me 6 months when they have visited…I cherish those now with my dad no more…..but every now and then we go through these phases…especially with FIL going through health issue…hubby gets pretty depressed being helpless so far away….Sigh!!!

    I am sure once your parents settle in a new place all of you will feel better and comfy…

    Yeah retiring, moving and your sister leaving….all the big changes coming at the same time is a little hard to deal with am sure….

    All the best and I am already counting my days for my India trip in Nov….

    Take care..


    • popgoesthebiscuit August 21, 2015 at 7:19 am #

      Didn’t know about your Dad , B. So sorry to hear that. Glad you have lovely memories of US trips to cherish. What dates in Nov , ya? Do you go mid to thanksgiving?

  2. More than words August 19, 2015 at 11:38 pm #

    Every word in this post tugs my heart and hits so close to home….. All of us go through this every so often ….. With my daughter having her summer break, my phone conversations with my mum would last for a few minutes and often I can hear the loneliness in her voice…. Especially after my dad passing away and she taking care of the business, it’s so difficult for her to come and stay with us here. And whenever I hear someone’s parents staying for extended periods, I get so jealous. Like you I too wonder, when she will be in a position to stay for 6 months I doubt if she would want to…. Sigh 😦 😦

    • popgoesthebiscuit August 21, 2015 at 7:21 am #

      Your mom must be an incredibly strong woman. I do hope she comes to visit for a longer duration soon and you guys get a lot of bonding time.I am trying to make the calls home a priority ya. She really waits for them

  3. princessbutter August 20, 2015 at 12:26 am #

    Giant bear hug, girlie. 😔 I don’t know if we have made the right decision or not. I don’t know what the future holds. But just hoping this all turns out to be worth it. This is an issue we expats will always have to deal with.
    Btw, I am planning a trip in Dec too. Shib getting married and mostly bringing parents with me in Jan. Will tell you my dates, maybe we can plan. It is turning out very expensive though. 😓

    • popgoesthebiscuit August 21, 2015 at 7:30 am #

      Hug right back at you. Dec is nuts ‘re. Imagine 3 ticks for us . debating thanksgiving ki saath combine karun

      • princessbutter August 22, 2015 at 4:04 am #

        Dude! 3 tickets for me too! Lol. I can see $$$. But you know, this may be the last time we are together before I get hitched. 🙂

  4. srividhya August 20, 2015 at 3:28 am #

    Hugs yaar.. take care.. plan ur Dec trip soon.

  5. perspectivesandprejudices August 20, 2015 at 4:19 am #

    So much of this post resonates with me. I have the same thoughts every day. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in feeling this way.

    • popgoesthebiscuit August 21, 2015 at 7:32 am #

      Yes, thats the thing about writing this. You realize you are not alone. And gives you some sort of mental solace

  6. Arch August 20, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    Hugs Pop! I know that the helpless feeling is terrible. But you are doing the best you can, from wherever you are. I really hope the vacation plan works out well for you!

    • popgoesthebiscuit August 21, 2015 at 7:32 am #

      Thanks Arch. Think once I buy ticks I will better about things

  7. Greenboochi August 20, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

    This is not a pointless post at all – I could relate so much to it. My parents faced a terrible empty nest syndrome when sister got married two years back. After schooling, I was hardly at home. What with my long travel to college everyday and moving out to Bangalore for my first job. But sister was always with them until she got married. As you said, she has seen them from close quarters, fought more with them and obviously enjoyed more with them too. With her gone, amma was shattered. I could say the same thing about talking to amma on phone. Some days she is completely ok and then there are days she says she misses me and that she wishes to see me immediately. When I am about to hang up the phone, she expresses sadness too. Sigh. Dad on the other hand has always been open about his feelings. If he misses me, he tells me. Amma on the other hand doesnt want her feelings to affect my daily routine and keeps quiet. Thankfully, with dad retiring last year, they can travel more often. All this said, I wish I were with them all the time. I do have the luxury of travelling to Chennai whenever I want but every time I go, I have to split myself three ways – parents, in-laws and the sister. No time is ever enough and I end up missing all of them much worse after coming back after every visit.

    I can totally understand how you must be feeling. Especially being so far. Big hugs. Give it some time, they will get adjusted to the new routine soon.

    • popgoesthebiscuit August 21, 2015 at 7:33 am #

      I did not even know your sis was married ya. Like just assumed from posts that she’s with your parents . Loke how did I miss that. Glad distance is at least closer for you guys. Can understand the 3 way split

  8. magic August 21, 2015 at 6:25 am #

    I can so much relate to this, i posted somewhat similar in my last post… off late I am feeling why did we decide to come here last year, but we were and are sure we will be back to Bangalore soon… but still there are times when i wish i was there and that too last month 1st my mom fell sick and was hospitalized then my dad was unwell, I just hated myself for being here, now they are fine and i was relived then my grandma passed away on Wednesday, I feel so low and helpless being so far away from all of them…

    Hugs 🙂

    • popgoesthebiscuit August 21, 2015 at 7:34 am #

      So sorry to hear about your grandson , Magic.Sending thoughts and prayers your way.

  9. Kavs August 24, 2015 at 2:43 am #

    The blues visit me too and for the same exact reasons. We are three sisters and all here. The visa status doesn’t allow us to travel as and when we wish to without worrying about the stamping etc. Even if we are having a great time here say whole playing in a park I miss my parents. Don’t know what the future holds for us but hopefully our positive thoughts and visualization will take us where we want. 🙂 Best wishes to your parents and sister. It’s a super exciting phase for her, isn’t it?

  10. Dil On The Rocks August 24, 2015 at 3:30 am #

    Hugs P. Retirement and these changes in life style are difficult stages, both for parents and children. But they do fine.

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