In the days following our backyard tree removal I noticed birds flitting around, flying from corner to corner stopping to rest on the fence line. They were confused.
It was more emotional than I thought, the day those trees came down
. I slept in that morning while Matt got up with Lavinia. He heard me stirring and came in to break the news that my favorite, the lemon tree, was the first to go. He also had to break the news that my beloved dog, Bella had passed away in the night (she lived with my Mom in The States.)
The following Saturday I read that a friend from my hometown lost his life- he was only a
year older than me. And today, another week later I woke to the news that my Mother's best friend of 50 years lost her battle with a quick, ruthless, illness.
My heart broke for those little birds because I could
relate. When things are suddenly taken from us, we see ghosts where branches
used to be. We try to lean against
something no stronger than a memory. We think we see our tree for a second but really it's just a phantom.
Loss hurts. It's one of those things made incredibly more complicated by living abroad. I have not yet been able to look at my own backyard and see those empty spaces with my own eyes. So instead I imagine: My dog won't greet me as I walk through the door, I won't bump into Mike if I go out for drinks, Debbie won't be visiting and I won't speak to my Grandmother, who left us
I had a dream this morning where I tried to explain life in
Australia to my Mom. I told her that even though I don’t have a youthful memory
on every corner, somehow it’s become home.
Buffalo is also my home. the roots I have back there are sturdy and in Australia they are young and flourishing. My home, my life, my family and my heart will forever be in two places.
When I arrive in my hometown next week perhaps I’ll be like one of those
birds, flitting around for a while trying to get my bearings without some familiar landmarks.
Rest in peace: Mamie, Bella, Michael and Debbie
Labels: ExPat Life, healing, Travel