I AM feeling very far away from home this week. Homesickness is not a common feeling for me, but the pressure and the distance of ten thousand miles (or 16,532km) is starting to get me down.
It is strange to think that back in Australia everything still operates like clockwork without you. Your old job has been filled, your old house has been rented, and your old car has broken down … again (sorry lil’ bro). I didn’t think the world would stop ticking necessarily, I just didn’t realise that so much could change in only ten months.
In December we received some very sad news that a beloved family friend had passed away from cancer. We were aware this might happen while we were away, but it did not help the pain we felt when we could not be there to support grieving family. Spending our first Christmas away from family and friends was also a hard step, although our Orphans Christmas and NYE celebrations on the Thames River were welcome distractions.
This week has been particularly hard. Earlier in the week I felt a pang of jealousy when I had an email from our best mates about their new puppy (Winston) and their house hunting plans. Overnight, our good friends in Perth announced their engagement (with a photo of the exquisite diamond ring on Facebook, how else?). But the final straw for me was a short note that I received from the kind people who took in our adored cat. Sooty has been extremely ill of late and they wanted to inform me that they might be putting him to sleep…
This last bit of news didn’t sink in straight away but when I tried to call my hubby to let him know, my whole world seemed to darken. There is nothing that I can do from so far away, but I wish there was.
We are ten thousand miles away from the adorable little cat that I saved from a shelter in spring 2006. He was eventually loved by (almost) all of our housemates and became a comforting fixture in our ever changing home. Giving him up last year was one of the hardest things to do before we left the country.
Then again, this news, and the significant distance between us, has helped increased my appreciation of everything someone might normally take for granted. It has increased my love all of our friends and family at home. The distance we have travelled has also allowed us to experience life as we never would have, to see far-away places and met incredible people.
But most of all, this great distance has increased our excitement for when the time comes for us to finally make the trek back. We may not have a Sooty cat to come home to, but I will cherish the fun times that we had together nonetheless.