Thursday, July 12, 2012

End of an Era

I took advantage and called out 'Ma' several times today just so I could hear her reply and see her coming from the other room. I didn't get to spend enough time with my parents over the last four years as I was so busy with my PhD and between us and them we did a lot of traveling. These past two weeks, as stressful as they've been, have been a blessing. We've formed new memories and strengthened our bond. I'm so grateful that I was given the opportunity to take care of them when they were in need.

Saying good-bye was terrible. I sobbed like a baby. I know that I'll see them again, but what makes it particularly hard for me to say good-bye to my mom is that because of visa restrictions on Bangladeshis in Kuwait, she will not be able to come back and visit. It makes me feel a bit suffocated/scared to think that if for some reason I needed her for an emergency, she wouldn't be able to come.

Still, I'm trying to focus on the positive. I got this time with them; they're not that far away. Nowadays with the ease of travel and the different modes of communication, staying in touch won't be an issue. I bought mom an iPad so that we can FaceTime - it'll make such a difference!

I also know that it is time for them to go back home. My grandmother (mom's mother) and my mom's only sister are very, very ill. It's important for them to all be together - and I'll be visiting them soon. I'm also happy to know that my brother is there to take care of them.

My father came to Kuwait 40 years ago. He then returned to Bangladesh, married my mom, and brought her here in 1975. This has been home ever since. They've seen this country go through so many changes, particularly the 1990 Gulf War; they've had so many good memories. My brother and I were both born here, educated here, and formed many memories here too. This has always been home for us even though we are not citizens of this country. Still, this was our home away from home where we built a family away from family. I have never lived here without my parents. It'll feel strange. It was so moving that a big group of their friends who have known them since the 70's came to the airport to say farewell. It was touching. It also reminded me that though my parents are not here, there is still a massive support system all around, and that people that have known my parents for 4 decades are still here - and are still part of my family.

Today marked the end of an era.


  1. I feel like I got to share a bit in your day with this bittersweet post. Sometimes I get frustrated and complain about technology, but the truth is it makes being apart from family a lot easier.

    At any time, we can text, email or call each other. I try to IM my daughter in Texas at least once a day just to say "hi" and "I love you." :)

  2. I can't imagine being without my parents. They live a country next door and we spend most days together. Sometimes just an hour here or there and other times a morning or evening. Last night I took daddy to Music in the Park, tonight I'm taking mama shopping, tomorrow we are working in their now not flooded but still damp basement. And they come here too, yesterday daddy babysat for an hour for me while I went and picked up a family that the mama was to sick to drive and Tuesday mama came at nap time to just sit on my porch and chatter while the big kids watched a movie and the little ones napped.
    So what I'm saying is I sure do understand you going to miss yours. Thank goodness for computers and more so at least we can stay in touch. I am sorry your mama can't come home but you'll just have to make a home at hers and spend as much time there as you can.
    Take care Ms Plumpetals and have a blessed day!

  3. Thank you for sharing. This helps us get to know you better. I understand the distance from parents thing. With this move to NYC, I'm now 2000 miles from my family. And honestly... we're closer than ever. I keep in better contact. Our time together is worth more.

  4. Aww I love this post!!! Your parents sound amazing! Face time will make a world of difference!!!

  5. What a beautiful post, and your closing quote almost made me cry - my parents too are aging, and sometimes I forget that. They spend 6 months a year far away, and then when they are here, I don't spend enough time with them. Thanks for sharing, and for the reminder. :)


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