The sadness of staying in one place

When I first met my husband, and we went out together, I would get jealous of how he would always run into old friends. Friends from university, high school, or elementary school, from the old neighbourhood or from a football team.  He seemed to know everyone. Most of my life I have spent living in different places, and I rarely “run into” old friends.

I have been living in Chile for over 15 years, and 11 of those years my daughters have studied at the small rural school five minuets from our house.  I have become in some way a part of the community.  I have made friends, and run into them when I am out. It is nice, but it also comes with sadness.

There have been many deaths in this small village, from suicides, and car accidents to death during childbirth.  Most of these people I have only know to say hello, and so during the Masses at the school or the long train of cars to the cemetery I stay back and observe the villagers’ grief from a distance.

Yesterday one of the school’s Tías died of cancer.  She was also the mother of one of my oldest daughter´s class mates. In most Chilean schools the mothers spend a lot of time together.  We work together all year to raise money, we have end of year days out, and even camping trips together with our kids.  We spent nine years watching our children grow.

I have not seen her much since our kids “graduated” 8th grade, but I have many memories of her and how strong she was when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. My  heart goes out to her family, especially her three boys.

Calas negras, from our garden, they only flower in October, and seem fitting.

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5 thoughts on “The sadness of staying in one place

  1. karen says:

    hi liz – i do like the new blog layout. it’s good to have a change. it looks clean and fresh… and it’s spring there! its autumn in UK. wet. overcast.
    your struggle with ‘home & travel’ reminds me of one of the most profound lessons of travel – that home is not a building, an apartment, or a bunk.

    Home is a community. Home is a refuge. Home is wherever our loved ones live.
    and of course there is a cost. we love and we must experience loss. staying in one community i think that we experience loss more profoundly but also recover with the support of that same community and of course – family.

    • So true. The only way to not suffer sadness is to close yourself off from the world, and I don’t want to do that.

      We went to the funeral. It was sad and it broke our hearts to see the boys next to their mothers coffin. So strong and grown up. I remember when they were little, dressed for halloween or running around the farm on birthdays. Not by choice they are grown up. Hard for many Chilean men who are so close to their mothers.

      Thanks for the visit mom, love you.

  2. Sara says:

    I’m sorry to hear about that.

    I, too, have moved around a lot. It’s rare for me to be out somewhere and see someone I know. It happened one time in Santiago and it was someone from my university in Minnesota.

    • Wow, that would be weird, meeting someone in a different country. I like that I have put some roots down, but it is hard having my mom and brother so far away. And who knows where my daughters will choose to live when they grow up and how that will effect where we live. 🙂

  3. Leslie Wind says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write and post on this topic.

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