Phone Call

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.

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8 thoughts on “Phone Call

  1. I guess it depends on exactly how bad things are. If she’s in a state to talk, call her, or, if you can, get someone to skype you on a video device of some sorts ( iPad anyone ?? ).

    The thing is, I lived around the corner from my Nan & Grandad when they were in a home. Things took a turn and I ended up not being there when it mattered anyway, and I’m five minutes away. I guess I don’t know if my Nan knew I was at her bedside or not. I’d like to think she knew I was there. They went within 5 weeks of each other.

    Anyway, I’d try and find another way. Coming back should be a last resort, and only if you think it would do your family some good support wise.

    • Thanks for the advice Maxxy, it’s appreciated.

      I’m going to try calling her this week anyway if she’s up to it. Not sure if me being there would be good support wise, but we’ll see. I haven’t made up my mind yet.

      Thanks again.

      • As a total stranger…if you’re close to this auntie, though, and can afford the trip, you should never miss out on being with a person in need. Even if she’s in a bad state, well, such is life. There is no substitute for live love.

      • Hi rebuildingholly – thanks for commenting. I agree with you and it’s the same advice I’d give anyone else too. But I’ve discussed it with family and they’ve all said I shouldn’t go back. Maybe something will change in the next few days/weeks but for the time being I’ve decided to stay put for now.

  2. Sounds like you should stay where you are and use the telephone. If your Aunt isn’t well enough to talk, she won’t be well enough for you to visit her. Talk to your cousins and be supportive that way. They’ll understand.

  3. I’m in the remember people at their best camp – sadly there is very little dignity in death. As long as your Aunt and her family know that you are thinking of them, there is very little that you could do appearing in person – Well not unless you have Jesus type powers of healing, in which case you should definitely make the trip….

    I do remember a House episode (yes I know it’s not real) where a family congregated at a deathbed and seemed distant about the whole event. All the medical staff were indignant about the families attitude, until it turned out that this was a regular occurrence and the patient kept going into decline, looking like they were not long for this world – got everyone around the bed and then made a remarkable recovery….

    • Hi BlackLOG – that’s the camp I’m in at the minute. As good as it will be to see everyone/them to see me, I won’t be any use and the novelty will wear off after 5 mins.

      Same things happen in Scrubs – only they all get up and start singing and dancing too. I can neither sing, nor dance – hence I won’t be any use gathering around a bed.

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