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Dear Readers,

So of course I would find a way to make my vacation a little more…. interesting.

Well, a few of my long term followers probably know that I’ve had a myriad of issues I’ve had to deal with growing up. These issues were no one’s fault, they were just the hand dealt to my family and I. Recently, my Mom’s health problems have escalated. She is now passing out frequently, although she says she can feel it coming on. Now, this developed right before I was supposed to leave for my trip… after the tickets were already booked and all that wonderfulness. Since I got here and realized just how far away I am from my family, I’ve been in a complete panic.

Most things I’m able to push to the back of my mind when I’m at home because I’m close. If something happens, I can get in my car and be there right away. Here, that isn’t the case. It can take a full day, if not longer, to get home. With my Dad also in recovery and facing his own set of obstacles, it hit me that leaving my family was extremely irresponsible. What if something happens? My parent’s health is precarious. Daddy not so much, but Mama…. yeah. I’ve been completely freaking out about everything here. I’ve been finding things to be anxious about, I’ve been stressing out constantly… All this stuff. I’m able to push that to the back of my mind mostly, like when I’m out sightseeing and stuff… but when I get home and it gets dark, I start thinking about home. My parents and I always sit together at home. We have dinner together. And then I started thinking… what if this rapid escalation is the beginning of something far worse? What if something happens and I’m here? What if Mom passes out for good while I’m here. How do I handle that? How do I live with myself? I shouldn’t have gone so long… I should have been more responsible. What if that was the last dinner I ever got to eat with my Mom and I didn’t value it? I should have… should have… should have. Needless to say, I talked to my Mom this afternoon and she said that everything was fine. I’ve been trying to find excuses to come home because I’m freaking out so much. So naturally, I didn’t believe her because I think that she would want me to stay here and make the most of my trip.

She offered to change my tickets, which leads me to believe she is actually okay. But then again with the what-if’s… I broke down in tears and ended up telling my friend Rachel and her Grandma (who I’m staying with) what was going on and to my surprise, Abueli is a counselor. She told me about her personal struggles and the things that she learned and I talked to her about everything that was on my heart. She encouraged me to cry to feel better and then explained to me exactly what I would need to do in order to get home. She told me things to start doing, to start looking at the positive instead of the negative.

So I realized that while I was sobbing hysterically and trying to wish myself home, I wasn’t really paying attention to the silver lining. I’m here, in a beautiful country on vacation. I don’t know for sure if my Mom is getting worse, she might be getting better. It might be a passing spell that will go away again soon. She might die tomorrow of something completely unrelated. Either or, I can’t change that. The only thing I can do is be confident in what I have done up until this point. I’ve tried my absolute best to be there for my Mom and to be involved. I don’t think I could have done anything more. So if something like that happened, I’d at least have a little bit of comfort.

So I’m finding the silver lining in all this and switching my outlook to positive. I’m still worried about my Mom, and I’m still scared. But I’m going to hope for the best and make the most of a wonderful opportunity. If I have to leave, I have to leave and I’m okay with that. Family will always come first and family will always be loved more than anything else. Prayers for my Mom’s health would be appreciated, if prayer isn’t your thing, just send a little wish for good luck. I know we could all use it.

From Spain, With Love

– Katie

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