The Longest Year Ever

We stood in the airport trying desperately not to cry.  It wasn’t working though.  Tears escaped as we hugged one more time — the last hug for several months.  Then, the shuttle whisked my daughter and her husband away to the jet waiting to fly them far from me.  It was one year ago, August 17, 2017.


It’s been a long year.

Having a child live in another country is not what I expected; not part of “the plan”.  Although we have lived in different state the previous four years (eight, if you include college), it has been much more challenging.  During her college years and four years after, she was accessible — just an hour away by plane or less than ten by car.  It was a great comfort to know that I could get to her easily if she needed me.  (Or if I thought she needed me.)

Even though we lived in different states, we were able to visit fairly often.  I think we saw each other once a month the eight months prior to her departure.

Not so when her current address is a little over 4,000 miles away with the Atlantic Ocean dividing us.

I confess, I was anxious at first.  Okay, I was panicky.  I didn’t know anything about where she lived, who her friends were or where she went to class.   I followed her closely on social media just to get a glimpse of what her life was like.

Last December, about four months into her stay, my husband and I visited our daughter and son-in-law in Edinburgh.  It did this mom’s heart good to spend time with them, exploring their part of the world. They showed us around the city — where they lived, their favorite restaurants and coffee shops, the University, where they bought groceries, the post office.  It helped so much to know her world.  When we talk, I can visualize where she is.

Four months later, a dear friend’s wedding called them home.  Hooray for weddings!  It was only for a few days but so good to have them back in the nest.

Another four months have passed and now, a year to the date later, we are visiting them again.  She turned in her Thesis so we are going to celebrate this milestone by exploring more of Scotland.  We’re even taking an extra suitcase with us so they can start sending some of their things HOME.

I feel like such a wimp.  Others have sacrificed so much more.  I can’t imagine what it must have been like for the mothers of sons serving overseas in WWII or Vietnam — when letters were the only communication.  Or mothers with children on the mission field.  I’m so thankful for the ability to travel and for modern technology that allows me to communicate with my girl in real time.  I can’t imagine sending her off not knowing when I would see her again.

My daughter simply decided to spend a little over a year getting her Master’s Degree at a university in the United Kingdom.  Yet, still, for this mom, it’s been the longest year ever!

How about you?  Have you had a child live overseas?  How did you cope?  I would love to hear.

11 thoughts on “The Longest Year Ever

  1. I understand a little bit of what you’re saying, Kim. Our son, daughter-in-law, and two grands, live in a different state, about six hours away. Granted, it’s not a different country, but for someone with travel anxiety due to a car accident, it feels like it. What a wonderful opportunity for her to study in Edinburgh! 🙂

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  2. Hey Kim! Neither of my kids have lived overseas but my son did live in California (like living overseas) for 2 years and my daughter in Atlanta. The hardest part for me was when my son first moved to Monterey (he now resides in Georgia) he was 23 years old, fresh out of basic training, and struggling big time. He would call me or text me and tell me about some of the things going through his mind which was so contrary to his normal easy going self. Trying to hold someone up from a distance that far away was eye opening for me. All I could do was listen, encourage, and pray. I was scared, frustrated, helpless, and unable to physically hug him. But, I also knew that it was best to step back and encourage him to work through it himself. I shared Bible verses with him and reminded him to look to Jesus for answers and strength to make it through each day. Eventually he overcame his situation and is now doing well. I never expected to go through that type of “crisis” with him and was blind-sided as a result. I had to rely on faith and prayer to see me through. Happily, we both survived and are now stronger for it. The Bible was never meant to sit and gather dust on a coffee table. It is alive and filled with the power of God to see us through this life until we are united with Him in heaven! I’m sorry for the length of this comment but am grateful for the opportunity to give praise to Him and to glorify His Name.

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  3. I had a son stationed in Kuwait. He would only call home when the SAT phone was available, perhaps every two weeks. We prayed and sent lots of packages for him and his fellow soldiers. I know that praying for him kept him close to me in my heart and doing something for him made me feel involved in his life. It’s hard no matter what the reason!

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  4. Believe it or not, I think the harder part is knowing your child is far from home without an end point. Though Scotland is very far, at least you knew after the year was over she’d come back to your general area. As you know, my daughter decided to live on the other side of the country as an “adventure.” The hard part is, now that adventure seems to be turning into a permanent home. In short, your situation is pretty great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, I agree with you. I hope your girl will return closer to your nest. Large country problems. If you lived in Scotland and she moved to the other coast she would only be about 4 hours away!


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