If you had asked me yesterday what the hardest part of being an Expat Bostonian was, I’d say things like the time difference (I either have to stay up late or wake up early…or ask my friends to stay up late or get up early to talk via Skype or phone), missing my favorite shops/restaurants, missing the change of seasons…things like that. The answers would change moment to moment, depending on what I miss at that moment…after any doctor’s appointment, I’ll tell you I miss the medical system (flawed as it can be in the US).
Today I learned what the hardest thing REALLY is.
I found out via facebook that my great-aunt had passed away the day before.
Getting on a plane right now would cost me $2k to fly to Boston and then I’d have to take a train or greyhound to Maine (or ask a friend to drive me as I’d be too jet lagged to safely drive myself). I’d go, come back and have to turn around and do it again on Nov 4, as planned. It’s just not practical from Singapore. If I lived in the US, maybe even if I lived in the UK I could figure it out. But I can’t…I want to, but I can’t.
I want to check on how my grandfather, who was very good friends with my great aunt (she was married to one of his brothers) is doing. They had coffee every day, and sometimes hung out twice in a day. How is he doing? I had to email my parents to ask them to call, and I’ll call tonight (which will be the morning for him) but I can’t DO anything.
I’ll send flowers or make a donation if my cousins tell me a charity, but it feels like an empty gesture.
My first cousin is due to have her baby on Saturday…a baby that won’t meet our great aunt. A baby whose birth I’ll also miss.
Rest in Peace, Great Aunt Eleanor. I know you’d understand, but I still hate that I won’t be there for your memorial and funeral.
The hardest thing about not being in New England….is not being in New England.