My partner found out yesterday that one of her uncles is in the hospital and facing open heart surgery. We live 8 hours away, and she wants to make the trip there. I can’t go because I can’t afford to take the time off work during the week and have no one to cover my shifts on the weekend. This is making me think about my connectedness with her family and my own.
I don’t want people in her family to think I don’t want to be a part of that family at such an important time. I’ve met her parents several times (we usually see them once a year) and her niece once. So I’m afraid my absence will make the connection even more tenuous.
Also, I would love to be present for my partner and provide support. That connection is obviously a strong one, and I don’t want to risk undermining it.
But duty and responsibility call, and I must be present in my daily life.
Am I putting work above family? If I am, how can I readjust things so that proper attention is paid to both aspects of that daily life?
Then I begin to think about my family. We live much further than 8 hours from them, and I haven’t seen them in almost 8 years. My two grandparents that were still alive when I left are now both gone, and I wasn’t able to be a part of saying goodbye to them. My parents are still healthy, but getting older. It makes me wonder what I would do if I were in my partner’s shoes. I couldn’t immediately run (or even easily go) back to the US to tend to those relationships and say goodbye if need be.
I believe that family should always be there for each other, but I’m not able to do that right now for any part of my family. It makes me sad.
Just for the record, my dad has a birthday today. I’m not sure he’d want me to tell how old he is, but happy birthday anyway!!