Before I decided to move myself to the other side of the world to live the dream, I did so telling family and friends “I’m only 24 hours away”. “It’s not that far, I can come back if I need to.”
In the world of email, Skype, mobile phones and WhatsApp, that 13,000 miles between family and friends never seems that big. I can speak to anyone back home almost whenever I want. In fact I probably speak to them more now than when I was 5 minutes away, around the corner.
But as much as I’ve been enjoying making a new life for myself, the longer I’ve been here there’s always been that thing in the back of my head. Knowing, that one day, I’ll get a phone call that will make the distance between Sydney and ‘home’ twice as big as it is.
In the past couple of months I’ve had two of them calls. The first phone call told me a few months ago that my aunt wasn’t well. The second phone call over the past weekend told me that things had taken a turn for the worst.
Unfortunately, the news is bad enough for me to have to decide (and ask family) if I should fly back to see her whilst I can? Or do I stick it out here given I can’t do much even if I was there?
If my aunt/uncle/cousins thought for one second that I was even thinking of going back they’d tell me (in the nicest possible way) to fuck off and not be so stupid, that I didn’t need to go back.
That’s the thing, do I need to go back? It’s horrible to even think of it, because I always thought I’d be on the first plane back if anything happened.
Do I need to see how ill my aunt is…does she want me to see her that way? As much as I know she would love to see me, I’m absolutely certain she’d also be angry if I did go back! Would it make her worse?
If I did go back home for a short time, I’d still be coming back to Australia without family around, the support – as quick as it was put back together – would be gone again. As strong as I am emotionally, I’d have to deal with it all on my own.
Or do I stay here and keep the memory of the last time I seen her fresh in my mind? (The day before I left, when she served me a Sunday roast that wouldn’t have looked out of place on Man V Food).
“I’m only 24 hours away”, but it seems a lot further.