It's just emotion that's taken me over


We got back from our short camping trip on Tuesday. No surprises, including the mercurial heater. It didn’t work, so the 40° mornings were pretty chilly. But the stove worked, so as we heated water for our morning tea and made breakfast, it warmed up. There was some hard work interspersed with some hiking through gorgeous landscapes, along with reading and relaxation. All in all, it was a nice getaway. But, as expected, everything we left was still waiting here when we got back.

I’ve written quite a bit about the logistics involved in making our plans to move to Europe. One of the things I haven’t written much about involves the emotional stuff surrounding that. Among those things is Linda’s family. I mentioned in the last post the difficulties she and her siblings were dealing with in relation to their elderly parents. That’s coming together now. Her folks will be moved into assisted living in a couple of weeks.

But, while that is in the process of being resolved, there are other things in relation to her family that are still weighing on Linda. For one thing, she’s going to miss them.

As I’ve written about earlier, my family cut me off over ten years ago. I miss them, but I’ve grown accustomed to not seeing them. My daughter, who’s not a member of that religion, lives in Chicago with her husband, and I see her maybe once a year, but we have contact through text messages and on Facebook. I know, it’s not the same thing, but it’s something.

Linda’s not as much of an introvert as I am. While she spent a year during COVID giving music lessons exclusively online, she really missed the face-to-face time with her students, and with friends and family.

So she’s struggling with the idea of leaving them all behind to chase a dream of living in some (to us) exotic location halfway around the world. Especially with her parents, ninety-six and ninety-seven years old, they rely on her quite a bit, and she’s grappling with the thought of leaving them.

On a purely cold and realistic note, we know that, at ninety-six and ninety-seven years old, they won’t be around much longer which, of course, adds to her desire to be here with them for the time they have left. But we don’t want to be purely cold and realistic about it by making fun plans for ourselves that revolve around whenever they die. So that’s an emotional conundrum.

There’s also the matter of our home here. I’ve lived in a lot of places. I can remember at least 26 of them.

Linda’s parents built their house when she was four years old, and all the kids helped to the extent of their abilities. They lived in that house until about two years ago when they sold it and moved into their current retirement community apartment. Needless to say, that was an emotional time, not only for her parents, but for Linda, as well.

She’s lived in a few places since she moved out, but she has put down roots to varying degrees in each one of them, making it her unique home. So each time she moved out of them, it was an emotional experience. And now, we live in a house that has a panoramic view of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains out our master bedroom, family room, dining room and kitchen windows, something she has wanted her whole life. The idea of leaving that is playing havoc with her emotions.

Then, there’s the stuff in the house. My family has never had anything of value, which means that I never had anything of value. When I made my escape a few years ago from my psycho ex-wife, it was with a small truck, most of which was full of furniture and other necessities that I had just purchased. I make quite a bit more money now than I ever have before, but even at that, I don’t think of any of my possessions in terms other than their usefulness to me or their monetary value, and none of it is that valuable.

With Linda, though, she has heirlooms. Things like her parents’ fine China, her grandmother’s rocking chair brought here from Ukraine, a sizable collection of tea cups from grandmothers and others. Some of the things are valuable, but mostly, they have sentimental value to Linda. She’s a sentimental person, and deciding what to do with these things has been one of the biggest stresses that she’s been dealing with.

Never having been in that position, I’ve avoided trying to influence her in any way, because I know I don’t understand what it feels like. But I have to say she’s been making remarkable strides when it comes to severing her connection to some of the things. She’s seen how much trouble and stress all the “stuff” has caused for her parents, and she’s wanting to simplify her life.

Some of the things she has given, or plans to give, to other family members. Other things, she’s selling or donating. There are, admittedly, some things that she hasn’t been able to decide on, yet, but overall, she’s making her way toward divesting herself of quite a number of her worldly possessions.

It’s been an emotional ride, and we’re not even to the point of making plans for specific locations yet. I expect the emotion will ebb and flow until we’re able to realize our hopes and dreams, but until then, we each have the other to help us through it.