April 1.0 - Family
Near or far, they make our lives easier, happier, and worth living. I have been far away from my immediate family for the better part of 10 years. Nevertheless, their impact in my daily life still feels close. I moved to the united states alone when I was 18 years old, in search of a better life. The first few years were lonely but I was able to make it through because my family was dedicated to being present in my daily life. My parents called me everyday, sometimes multiple times a day. My mom knew every single thing that was happening in my life. Every triumph and every difficult patch I hit. To this day, she talks about certain events that I may have even forgotten about. Now that I am older, even though my busy life doesn’t permit me time to talk to my parents everyday, I make it a point to do so every 2-3 days.
Fast forward a few years, I now have a son, a husband, and my brother moved to the united states a couple years ago to attend college. Although my brother lives on campus 1.5 hours from me and my husband’s side of the family lives four hours away, I now feel surrounded by family and for this, I am blessed. This past weekend, I was again reminded of how valuable family time is. I had great phone conversations with my parents and my sister. I love when I have time to discuss trivial topics with my sister because conversations about nothing can often be the best. My husband’s side of the family also had an Easter family reunion. It was much needed bonding time with grand parents, siblings, and cousins.
Tobe was happy to play with his sister, Leia, and all his cousins. It really was the best. There was a lot of love and laughter. One of my favorite moments of the weekend was Tobe waking up to a basket full of candy. He was so surprised and excited. He jumped out of bed to find his cousins, screaming as he went down the stairs that that he found a basket of candy in his bed. It was the cutest sight. This was Tobe’s first Easter basket. It was delightful to watch his reaction. That morning, he also walked around saying ‘Merry Christmas ho ho ho’. He was a bit confused on which holiday we were celebrating. All the cousins loved their baskets and Tobe held onto his the entire day. He used it to collect random objects - wooden eggs, actual eggs, pebbles etc. Somehow a piece of bacon found its way into his basket. I discovered it on our ride home. He fell asleep eating said bacon and candy. By the time we got home, his chocolate bunny was a pile of mush on his jeans and some was plastered all over the car window. I don’t recommend getting such a huge piece of candy for a two year old.
The moments we get to spend with family often makes us yearn for more. It reminds us that our time on earth is so short and motivates us to think about what really matters. I always leave family reunions a bit sad, longing for my home in Nigeria, wishing for more time, sometimes wondering whether leaving my home at such a young age was the right decision. I missed out on a lot of family time with my own family. It probably is a reason why I am not an overly emotional person which can sometimes be misinterpreted. But then I remind myself that leaving home was a sacrifice I made for the betterment of my life, my family’s future, and my children’s future. In all sacrifices, you lose something in the hopes of a better situation.