I needed some perspective. I’m not thrilled in the way it was delivered as it makes me very sad, but perspective I now have. It has been months since my last blog post, mostly because I didn’t know how to write it. It has been harder than we expected coming home for a host of reasons. I have rewritten the start of the blog at least ten times. There is of course loads of research on repatriation and I believe we are quite typical with our return and the difficulties we’ve been having. We miss CQ, we miss our friends there, we miss the life and all of the positive things that went a long with it. We have been feeling like a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit in here, in our home town. It is really hard to explain this to people, being careful not to offend anyone. It really isn’t possible for people to understand why our return has been difficult unless they to have been expats. Interestingly, there are a few expats who I have been in touch with who are feeling the same way.

So a couple of weeks ago on Facebook a woman I graduated from high school with said she was taking her husband to a surgery in Boston. This woman and I have never been close friends, but it has been fun getting to know the adult that she is on Facebook over the last several years. We’ve discovered we have several things in common and even had fun instant messaging all night during one of the presidential debates several years ago. I have learned that she has a really cool and smart daughter who loves a good book as much as I do, that her husband and her stand strong for what they believe in, they both have a great sense of humor and they are both hard workers. That being said, I also just learned that her husband went in for one surgery and what doctors discovered was stage four cancer that is inoperable and incurable. In the last week I have thought of little else.

What happened next was amazing. Her husband’s wish was to take their daughter on a trip to create memories that would last the rest of her life. After traveling the last 18 months we certainly know how expensive it is to travel, anywhere! They reached out on Facebook for support to make this happen. Not only did they far exceed the goal they had calculated the trip would cost, but the outpouring of support was amazing. How could your heart not break when you heard such news and people donated what they could whether that was five dollars or fifty dollars, people wanted to help with whatever means they had and each and every donation was heart felt and part of the end total. I could not be happier for this small family to take a trip of a lifetime, a trip they will never forget. I so wish that Disney magic could touch this man and cure his terrible cancer, but I’m not sure that can happen 😦

What I do know is that life is short and always changing. My family spent 18 months doing things few people will ever do. We traveled, we learned a new language and how to survive in culture that wasn’t ours, we spent time with new friends and lots of time as a family. We loved it! We don’t know what life will bring in the future, maybe another chance to be abroad and maybe not. One thing that hasn’t changed is that have a wonderful family and friends who are there for us to support whatever we are doing. Whatever struggles we have now are temporary, we will get through them. The struggles we have now, are because of an experience where memories were created that will last a lifetime.

If you are sitting around the week after Thanksgiving, send some positive thoughts, prayers and vibes towards Disney Land for a family to have the trip they are hoping for, the trip of a lifetime.