When life gets in the way

I’m a pretty meticulous person when it comes to planning, and this week we were making good progress with the tasks on our checklist when something we hadn’t planned for blew us completely off course — a dearly loved family member was admitted to hospital and diagnosed as having a tumour on one of his lungs.

Needless to say, all our thoughts about opening Australian bank accounts, checking out quarantine regulations and scouting possible places to live have been pushed aside as we rally to offer support and play our part as members of the family.

I won’t go into more medical detail here – this isn’t the time or the place – but I wanted to write about it, firstly, because the point of this blog is that it’s about the full story of our move to Australia, including the challenges. And secondly, because this week’s events have offered a timely reminder of one aspect of emigrating that, in our enthusiasm for our new life, we may not have paid enough attention to – the people we will be leaving behind.

It’s common to assume that, no matter how far we roam or how long we stay away, life as we know it in our home country will continue, uninterrupted, unchanged, ready for us to revisit whenever we have saved enough money for the return air fare. But that may not be so, as we have so clearly been shown.

For now, we have the consolation of being able to get home fairly quickly and be a part of events as they unfold, and I want to be clear here – we are hopeful and positive, rather than fearing the worst. Even so, I can only imagine how the same conversations would have played out across a distance of nearly 17,000 kilometres.

I’ve already told you how much we love Australia, but there are people in Europe that we love too, and I’ve a feeling that we’ll only really realise how much once we are too far away to put our arms around them any more.


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