In the nearly two years we have been in Mae Sot, Stephen and I have had two nephews born, with another niece scheduled to arrive in November. Stephen’s mom was diagnosed with cancer and went through surgery and treatment. In February, Stephen lost his grandfather. And on Monday, my sister called us from America with news that my grandfather had passed away.
I don’t know how to express these things from here. Words cannot celebrate enough with our sisters having healthy babies; words cannot mourn enough with death.
And particularly with my writing skills, this will likely be a disarray of thoughts and emotions.
I’m really thankful we went home for Christmas. We got to spent time with my grandparents, who bravely made the 11 hour drive to Arkansas. After spending a day together, I told Grandma & Grandpa goodbye that evening and planned to them the next day. They called later to say they were going to go ahead and head home the next morning; Grandpa was pretty exhausted of people and not being in his own home.
I wanted a proper goodbye, so Stephen & I woke up around 5:30am to go to the hotel. We had breakfast with Grandma & Grandpa, laughed together, and said our proper goodbyes.
I’m really thankful we did that. I’m really thankful they made the drive at all.
This keeps going through my head.
Tuesday and Wednesday became preparations for mom & dad to return to the States early, including re-booking flights, driving to Chiang Mai, and reserving rental cars. We called family to make arrangements and encourage.
And then my parents left, just one week after they arrived instead of three.
I’m not even sure I’m willing to count the whole week, since we spent one day on a bus, dad spent two in bed with an odd rash, and the last two were corrupted with tears and international phone calls.
And now it’s just Stephen & I.
I’m not sure Mae Sot has ever felt this lonely. Suddenly it seems obvious the little bit that people know about me, my family, and my sadness. Or even the little bit that my family knows about Mae Sot and our lives here.
The ocean seems much bigger today.