Not ever feuding with relatives. Keeping my family together.
There — straight to the point. Keeping my family together.
For some reason recently I’ve been especially aware of this goal. In fact, I see it as one of my life’s main responsibilities.
Nothing dramatic happened to create this sentiment. Everyone seems healthy, though we all sometimes encounter sickness and accidents. The moments of love and the moments of tension with my wife are as they’ve always been, not more, not less. We’ve been together for over two decades. There is love, and there is attachment. But there is often frustration too. There are occasional arguments and disagreements. There are life’s struggles of various kinds that often bring clouds. I wouldn’t say that the clouds hang over our relationship per se but when there are clouds, it gets dark. There is no joy. You’re not aware of love or you even think that love no longer is.
Maybe my feelings are the aftermath of the damn pandemic and the damn war. I can’t complain — I was not impacted directly. But I remember the summer two years ago when my Mom couldn’t visit us in America. Every Christmas break and every summer, she’d travel to visit us and especially her grandchildren. It was never easy — the expense of it, the long-distance travel, the fears of visa expiring, the fears of something going wrong, my step dad having to make arrangements at work not that his work was something special. That summer the world came to a standstill. For many weeks there were no flights at all. When there was finally one available, my mom got turned away while boarding. I forget now the exact reason. The flight wasn’t direct and it had something covid-related. Eventually, she did come that year — in the fall. It wasn’t like our reunion got delayed by a long time but it felt special after all the stress and the uncertainty.
There are close relatives though I have no prospect of reuniting with. My wife hasn’t seen her mother in three years. Her visa expired and the US consulate in Moscow no longer issues visas. We’re now going through complicated arrangements to try to get her to an interview in Europe. She’s approaching eighty. It’s not easy for my mother-in-law — all this travel, all these complexities.
My father’s visa is expired too.
Now there’s a war that brings all these travel and visa complexities and uncertainty to…