The Ups and Downs

There are so many wonderful and unexpected benefits to living overseas and this lifestyle we’ve chosen. But there are those difficult times that make you question everything and wonder – what the heck are we doing living so far from home?  I’m also trying to find a balance between being honest with this blog, and respecting the privacy of our families (and JR) who may not be as comfortable sharing personal information so widely.

While we were in Paris, we received some devastating news about the health of one of JR’s family members. We are still processing the information and waiting for updates from the doctors.

Living away from your family and your home state, you think maybe you’re prepared to receive bad news or to travel back right away when you get that phone call. But when that moment happens, it’s overwhelming and it makes you feel sick to be so far away when you feel like your family needs you the most.   We are fortunate that we were able to make the decision to send JR back to Ohio from Paris immediately, and his work and our friends here were understanding and supportive of his need to be with his family.

It was also my turn to be supportive.   I did not expect to be apart from JR so suddenly, and for more than two weeks.  He was where he needed to be, of course, but it will still hard to be here by myself.  Again, we’re both thankful for the friends that we’ve made here who checked in on me and made sure I didn’t turn into a hermit while he was away, and of course my amazing friends and family back home who called, e-mailed, and messaged me.

He returned last weekend and while we are both happy that he is home, I know that he feels very torn about being so far away.   It’s something we tried to think about when moving overseas, but you don’t really think it will ever happen to you.  And even then, how can you really prepare?    Right now, we are trying to stay positive and send all of our love, faith and encouragment to our family back in Ohio.  Even with all the technology that allows us to stay in touch, there is truly no subsititute for being able to be physically present.  It’s times like these that make living abroad really difficult.

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