Moving does not mean losing…
When you pack up house and move again, especially to a new country, you leave behind so many friends, and that is hard. But moving away does not necessarily mean losing touch. Our family has moved several times – in fact my eldest son went to a new school every two years – a total of 7 schools. Yet in spite of the moves, I have kept in touch with people we left behind and that is important to me. I invest time and affection in my friends, and if I were to lose them altogether I would feel I was losing a piece of myself.
Today it is easy to stay in touch – emails, Facebook, Whatsapp are all immediate and easy to use, and even if it is only to forward a funny story that someone has sent to me, that is a link to an absent friend.
However I find for me that the best way to stay in touch is with a yearly newsletter that I send out with a Christmas card at the end of the year with news about each member of the family. I really struggle to do this as there are eight of us and it is so difficult to reduce to one paragraph for each of us all the things that have happened during the year. However it is really worth it as this letter through the mail receives a wonderful response with a bundle of letters and cards that drop into my mailbox with news and photos of growing children (and grandchildren) and an update on family activities.
As far as my children are concerned, they consider this to have been one of the best things I could ever have done for them. It has meant that in their travels around the world they have often had a home from home to go to – friends who were happy to welcome them to spend time with them in Australia, Hong Kong, the USA, South America, Europe…. In turn we have the pleasure of receiving visits from around the world from friends or their children – it has even meant exchanges between our families, with our children spending a term in school in a different country.
I often think about the parents who were left behind when their children emigrated to America or Australia looking for a new life, and never returned. Letters would take months to arrive, if they did arrive, so contact could be lost forever and I would have found that very hard. Quite apart from the affection I feel for absent friends, there is also a healthy dose of inquisitiveness – I love to know what people are up to and how life is treating them, and I like to know that they still remember me! So when you move, please stay in touch