In all this waiting

There’s something like 48 days until we go home.

Okay, okay. There are exactly 48. Yes, I counted. Am counting. Am recounting every morning and checking my calendar to be sure I have the number correct.

I don’t know how to really describe the super weird dichotomy of the passing days here. It would be a lie for me to try to paint my eagerness as anything but that: a deep desire to be home and a longing for all that lies ahead of me. Yes, I would get on a plane tomorrow if I could. But there is nothing here I dislike, nothing I could say “I just can’t take it anymore!” and hope to forget entirely upon our departure. It’s a weird thing, because I actually do love this place. Maybe not in an affectionate, desperate-to-be-with-the-person love, but more like a sister love. This city is my friend, and it is a kind one. I will miss the beautiful brown eyes and faces, the kind smiles, the delightful foods. It will feel weird to leave it all behind.

The best I can figure is really that this was never meant to be my home. Some people, despite their country of origin or the roots they’ve planted before, might find themselves in a new land and discover, even to their own surprise, that this new place is actually a home for them. Asia has never been that for me. Maybe it’s because we always knew it was a temporary thing. But no matter what the reason, I think it explains how you can love a thing and be glad to carry it in your heart, but also very, very ready to say goodbye.

Yet here I am, with still 48 days to go and no real strategy to endure them apart from just taking it all in, one day at a time. Stitching and writing new patterns and going for walks when the skies allow it.

I’m crying more these days, for lots of reasons. The missing home, of course. The way things have already changed in my absence, and the things that are yet to change but still will when we return. The desperate heart longing for another baby, unfulfilled. The pain of broken situations encompassing people I dearly love. Toddler tantrums, and trying to be a good mom amidst them…

But just maybe, there are some tears for Asia too. A preemptive leaving. A recognizing that, even in the very long, hard days of being here, there were sweet ones too. Tears of gratitude and sorrow and goodbye, falling more frequently in all this waiting.

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