As soon as news that I’m moving to Paris started spreading everyone started asking me 2 things: “Why?” and “Can I come visit you?!” so I thought I would write a post I can direct y’all to for the complete explanation I’m too lazy to repeat to you curious lads. Get ready for story time kids =]
Let’s take a walk back in time… I moved to Georgia (the U.S. state not the country)because of my dad’s job when I was eight years old. When my family lived in Georgia, we went back to France every summer and winter. Each trip only lasted a few weeks to a month, but it was still valuable time I got to spend with my grandparents, cousins, uncles and auntie, and all the rest of my relatives and family friends. I always enjoyed being reunited with my cousins and visiting my grandparents’ friends in the country side.
When we moved again three years later, this time to California, we were further away by plane. However, we were not only further away geographically, but further away emotionally. After three years in expatriation, my father,mother, little brother and I just weren’t as close to our relatives anymore. As the years went by we began to return to France for visits less and less frequently. At first we went every summer, but as my little brother and I grew up summer jobs and exploring the rest of the world began to have more appeal than being dotted upon by our well-meaning relatives. My grandparents even came over a few times.It was actually during one of those visits that I realized that my grandparents were growing older and, dare I say so, frail.
My dad’s parents’ last visit to California was while I was still in high school. I was very happy to see them, but the trip didn’t end very well. One night, my grandmother got up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, but she didn’t find it. Instead, she passed right by the bathroom and fell down the stairs to the first floor. Ambulances came and everything, but my brother and I slept through the whole thing. We only found out the next morning. Our grandmother broke her clavicle (her collar bone), but the doctors said she would be fine. I guess in a way she was fine. She recuperated and eventually healed, but she never came to visit us in California again.
This incident stands out clearly in my memory as the beginning of my grandmother’s death. She hasn’t died yet, but every time I see her or speak to her on the phone I wonder if it’s the last time I’ll get to. Over the last few years she has gotten much worse. She has Parkinson’s now, is losing her eyesight, and an old surgery to her feet makes it very painful for her to stand or walk. Seeing her and my maternal grandmother deal with all of their health problems and ailments (she’s been having back problems and all sorts of other things) has forced me to face the fact that I grew up without them and may never get the chance to know them if I don’t make a conscious decision to do what I can to make up for lost time now.
And this is the reason I want to move back to Paris. I grew up far away from my grandparents, but they’re not gone yet and I should make the best use of the time I still have with them.