The last week was a busy one, a lovely kind of busy though. We had family around and that always makes me so happy.
It is amazing that no matter how long we stay abroad we never really get used to living without family. I have been in Bahrain for 10 years and I always crave those moments right after breakfast, with my family, when everyone is holding a cup of tea, not really drinking it because it probably got cold already, but no one can be bothered to heat it up. Talking about the silliest things. Reminiscing about the past, bringing up memories that we once thought dead, almost smelling the aromas of the past and getting lost in the details that we wish were to be back! We make fun of ourselves and each others like no one ever did, we cry and laugh at the same time, we hug and hold hands, we pray and hope together, we venture into red dangerous zones together and we share desserts together!
I had exactly that last week, and I prayed it never ends, yet and while I was making that silent prayer, my heart sank and I felt the buried pain from the past 10 years rising in my chest, like a volcano, with the cruelest revelation ever, this will end soon, it always does, we meet, we shine, our hearts expend and our souls rejuvenate, then we say goodbye and parts of our souls get lost with every one of these encounters just to be found again in the next one. Yet weeks later we forget all about it and we get back to our busy schedules and our crazy lives and life goes on.
Every time I think about my family, I have the urge to cry, because I only get to visit them once a year, and knowing that I am missing birthdays, graduations, bad and good days, makes me so sad, but this is life and who can argue with it? However, life isn’t that cruel, it rewarded me with a new family the day I got married. My new family embraced me as if I was theirs, and showed me that love can be shown in so many ways, not necessarily the ways I knew of, but bigger and very different ones. It taught me that being away is good because it is a chance to explore the love you have been offered, you get to stretch it and make of it whatever you want. It opened my eyes to the endless possibilities one can show compassion and receive it at the same time.
Sometimes we are very stubborn, we only want to be loved the way we need to be loved or the way we want to be loved yet families are different, each one has a unique charm and with it comes a wonderful sense of safety and security even if their love is different, you just have to be wise enough to take whatever you have been offered and just be grateful for it.
Family is the one thing that takes you in no matter who you are, they hold your hand in though times and guide you towards a safety zone. They are the force that nurses you back to life in those ugly moments of loneliness and suffering. Yet we don’t always love them the way we are supposed to, we don’t always listen to them the way we need to, we don’t always tell them all the things we should tell them. It is not necessarily a bad thing, we all need room to grow and see clearer and become better versions of ourselves, but sometimes with the change and the growing up, comes a glacial kind of unresponsiveness, and a rigid indifference and stiffness that occupies that soft part of our hearts that cries at every goodbye, and winces at every unpleasant news we hear, and expands at every meeting with our loved ones. I feel we always need a reminder of love, a reminder of the goodness in being surrounded with love, of how lucky we are every time we fall and there is a hand of a mother, a grandmother or a sister that is rushing to help. Those reminders allow us to never forget that the love of a family is bigger, brighter, and stronger than life itself.