It came while I was meeting my niece 12½ hours away from home. There it was! My Spanish residence visa. Dad WhatsApped me a picture. I broadcasted the news near and far and even took the first steps to get my plane ticket.
The ecstasy lasted approximately one hour; because when I pulled out my pocket calendar, excitement vanished with a puff of reality. I was looking at today’s date and my departure date on the same page. I had between three and four weeks.
I should have been ready; all along I had known of this possibility. But now it was real. That night, instead of drifting off into agreeable dreams, I cried myself to sleep.
That was a week ago. Now I have less than three weeks left. I’m still tossed to and fro between the delight of moving to Spain and the sorrow of leaving behind my world.
- My nephews and niece will grow up, knowing me as the aunt who lives far away and brings them olives and cheap souvenirs with Spanish logos.
- My family will try to keep me in the loop, even as we age and grow apart.
- My church family will change dynamics as people come and people go.
- Friends will move away, marry, and have children.
- Older friends will have health complications and pass away.
- The community will change as businesses start up and shut down, land is cleared, and landmarks disappear.
The list goes on.
I’ll change too. It’s just that this part of my life and I will not change together. It’s hard to give that up. But how can I cling to a vapor? My reality on earth is temporary. As important as life is to me right now, I don’t want it to weaken the anticipation of the life to come, the everlasting life.