It’s way early in the morning in the city I live in and I’ve been awake for hours.
I fell asleep right after work and set an alarm to check the reviews on a movie I’m supporting as part of my shiny new job in Public Relations.
But I’ve had trouble falling back asleep.
Mostly it’s just having invisible and insignificant arguments with people that are pissing me off lately (good god how I need to learn to let things go) and cat video’s I’ve fallen behind on watching (what with the schedule of my life at the moment).
But then there’s the other the thing. The family thing.
It’s always the big questions that keep you awake at night. The rest is just padding.
My 92 year old Grandmother is in the hospital after a nasty cold left over from the weekend, and complications with her breathing.
Suddenly, the sweet old lady I send christmas cards to, and call on Birthdays and Holidays, but barely think about, has come back to the centre of my mind. Front and centre.
Updates from my Dad via text and email keep me in the loop, and Nana and I have spoken on the phone a few times (once I heard exasperation in her voice – “oh it’s my granddaughter calling me from Canada… again”).
Suddenly we have gone from acquaintances to “I’m all up in her business”.
And sadly, that is what we are. Family acquaintances. Not up in her business. Ya know?
Never has it bothered me so much as it does now, that I don’t really know my Grandmother, and it suddenly hits me like a tonne of bricks… fuckkkkk my grandma’s old. 92. Fuck. You know what else is 92 years old? This Kodak film building they demolished last month. Why’d they demolish it? Because it was falling apart.
Things that get old tend to do that.
So I’m up late at night wondering how I never made it a priority to get to know the woman who birthed my dad who in turn birthed me (I think that’s how babies work… right?)
Growing up, we spent most years in cities far away from where she has always lived (Perth, the west coast of Australia). When I turned 18 and got to decide things for myself (yay adulthood) I lived in Sydney (the east coast of Australia) and then randomly moved to Toronto, Canada… literally the furthest away place from my Grandmother as possible.
And I suppose the whole situation really snowballed in my mind (as things do) about the fragility of life (blah blah) and how fucking hard it would be to get to somewhere last minute.
Not a whole lot of flights direct Toronto —> Perth.
In fact, there are none. If there was an emergency, I couldn’t get “home” to my Nana in less than 24 hours, IF there was a flight. Same deal in reverse, if something terrible happened to me, geographically there would just be no way for my family to get to me quickly.
And so, here I am lying awake in the morning, wondering how my expat, travel brat lifestyle is really going to translate long term. My parents are young and healthy (thankfully) but they wont be forever.
Not one of my Grandmothers grandkids live in the same city as her (and there are six of us). We live in Sydney x 2, London, Toronto, Vancouver and somewhere in Europe (I can’t keep up).
Gone is the generation of living in the same place forever, or at least in my family.
It makes me think (brain whirring) in the middle of the night, what I would do in a worst case scenario (or I guess, second worst case scenario, as the first worst case would be a zombie attack and let me tell you, I am fully armed and ready for that – just in case any of you come back as zombies… just know that I am ready so….)
How would I get home, what would the steps be, how much would it cost, what would I do about work… the questions pile up and yet the answer is simple.
I would go home.
I would make it work.