Thursday, 3 October 2013

Can I Cure Being Homesick?

Do you ever get so busy you forget to drink something for a while? Well, I do....especially at work! I like to get in a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day. Ones about this size.


But I don’t want to drink all that water at once because then I’m playing a game of race to see who comes in first...the wee or me to the toilet! ;-0

However, somedays I get so distracted at work that I just...forget! I make coffee when I come in and pour myself a glass of water and then later.....well, before I know it I go to get water and stand there drinking it down like a fish!

Today, my desk looks like this....I think I have issues!

Speaking of issues....I have one I need to work out. It’s called being homesick.

Ya know, peeps, let me be honest here. I’ve been in South Africa for 1659 days and 13.5 hours. Yep, I remember it that well!



Why do I mention this? Because....because today my heart is very heavy. Today, I’m feeling every minute that I’ve been gone.

I thought that it would get easier over time. I though the longer I lived in South Africa the more I’d find that I loved here. I assumed that my life, my family here, my work, my friends here would all envelop me and allow my roots here to grow deep....thus effectively lessening that overwhelming sickening need to go back.

Well, all of those things have planted deep, deep roots here. My Hubby, my children and my friends have secured a place in my heart that will never be eliminated. I have grown to love certain foods here that I would miss so dearly. I love the social atmosphere of the culture I am engrossed in and I truly enjoy my job.

I love South Africa and this is my home now. This is what I chose and I do not regret it for one minute.

That doesn’t mean I don’t yearn for ‘home.’ Home as in what I’ve always known, what is familiar, what I remember, where I’m from

As we were walking into church a couple of weeks back, my boss (yes, we attend the same church) said something that has really stuck with me. He said that despite the fact that I married an Afrikaner, and regardless that my children were born here and are being raised Afrikaans, and even if I live here for another 40 years and learn to speak Afrikaans fluently....I will ALWAYS be American.

If I live in South Africa for another 40 year, I will effectively have lived in South Africa more than twice as long as I lived in America! And I love this country dearly....but he is right! I will ALWAYS be an American.

I will most likely always have an accent to those in South Africa....funny thing is, many American family and friends think I have a different accent from them too.
I will always look at how marriages should operate and how children should be raised....just a little off from Hubby’s family.
I will always feel a pull for the military fighting for our lives. I will always listen to country music. And I will always be proud when I see an American flag.

Yet, this time of year it is even harder. Illinois is headed...is in my favorite time of year! I believe I will always miss seeing the trees change color and hearing the leaves crunch beneath my feet. I will always miss the bonfires and hay rides, smores and roasted hotdogs. I will miss the trick or treaters and the sickening amounts of candy corn!

I already miss seeing Christmas decorations up in October and hearing the endless ringing bells of Salvation Army volunteers! I wish I could take a group caroling (and not in 100 degree weather) and curl up with hot chocolate next to a fire while reading The Night Before Christmas.
I miss the opportunity to take my kids to the Thanksgiving/Christmas parades. I wish I could see them learn about the history and participate in the school reproduction of the first Thanksgiving. I wonder every Thanksgiving if my siblings watched the Macy’s Day Parade and if Dad fell asleep after turkey or managed to stay awake for the football game! I miss the gatherings and wonder if they are missing me too.
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Who doesn't love Charlie Brown?
I’ll always wish my family here understood the importance or personal significance of that BIG family dinner....otherwise the effort is wasted.

 I miss the crispness of the Chicago air as the temperatures begin to drop  and looking out from the Sears tower to the frozen edges of Lake Michigan. I miss the plays and the museums....when the days are just cool enough to make the walks refreshing.


I miss laying under a blanket in the corn field watching the stars at night.....I miss the caramel apples, sticky popcorn balls, and those ridiculous strong smelling roasted nuts they sell in the malls at Christmas time!
I miss the bustle of the following few months. I miss seeing the children rejoice in the first snow of the year. I miss the kindness of a stranger as your car gets stuck in the aftermaths of a beautiful winter storm.
I will always wish I could take my kids for the traditional cold, snowy/wet walk in search of the perfect Christmas tree to watch Hubby cut it down and attach it to our car. I miss the setting up of our REAL tree....singing endless Christmas carols and drinking ourselves sick on Eggnog.
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Come on...you know you watch it EVERY Christmas!
I miss curling into my daddy’s lap with a cup of coffee or having mani’s and conversations with my mom.

I miss snowmen and Merry Christmas signs. I miss neighborhoods full of lights and racks of leftover Halloween costumes. I miss the midnight movie on Christmas Eve and watching the ball drop in New York at midnight....not 8 am the next day!
{pantagraph.com- Christmas lights} {secretagentsnowman.com-snowman}
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I guess....I just miss my traditions....my culture...my normal. I sometimes feel jipped that my children don’t experience those parts of my life. I miss my family and our home and our memories.....

I miss America.

None of this is truly home anymore, because you could give me all of that, but it could never replace what I have here in my Hubby and kids. However, today....today I’m wanting it!


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XOXxx

Shana Danae..

2 comments:

  1. Sending hugs to you sweetie, from home! :) Take some of those traditions and share them with the boys, it won't quite be the same but it will be good for you all. It will let the boys know the other part of their heritage which is as important as their African heritage. As always, trust in God, you know he will always be with you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much! I plan to start teaching the boys about Thanksgiving and Fourth of July and celebrating them in small ways here!

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