As I have mentioned before, my mother is in hospital and has now been for three months. My life is now so changed I do not recognise it sometimes compared to what life was pre her illness.
I have many stories to tell, most are horror stories as I have had a nightmare particularly around communication with the hospital team.
For today though, I want to talk about ‘home’. Before this family illness, there have been a lot of deaths of people from home in the past 5 years. Suppose that is the nature of getting older, people start dying that you know or know off.
No matter what age the person, the one resounding regret from the mourners is that the deceased never got to go back home, irrespective of what had been their life. Now this can be someone who has lived in the UK or US for 50 years and the sentiment is still the same.
I have always seen this as a problem having to live and raise a family in the country I was born in. From very early on (in raising a family) I made a decision that my ‘home’ would be where I was with my loved ones and making a life. I could not see how I could settle and plan properly if I always had one eye on going back home to the country I was born in. This was not a decision taken lightly and still not but I look around me at friends and family who are still living to go home and they are not settled. Life just seems more complicated and their children just seem confused. I hear couples fight about jobs of spouses and one says that it will not be for long, only till they go home. Years on, in same position, the arguments reigns in the same household, no further in going back home or settling where they are.
I look at others who have decided wherever they are at that point is home (if happy) and they have more settled and rounded children who still have a strong sense of their parents’ country of origin.
I just had to get on with making a life wherever I was and will be. So I did and so far it seems to have worked. I do not feel I have betrayed my country of birth at all but enhanced my life due to values and the culture from it and have grounded my daughter. Please be clear that I always state my home country as where I am from but live in London. What I am discussing here is my daily life and goals is not about moving back to my home country nor is it about NOT moving back. It is about being the best I can be where I am at this point.
The reason I mentioned my mother in the first instance is that as she has been so ill, the thought of her not being back home at this point in life has bothered me. She then made I very clear that whatever happened to her, she was at home where I was and more importantly where her granddaughter (her only grandchild) was.
I suddenly realised that my decision to call another country my home was linked to two important things, the birth of my daughter and the arrival of my mother because of this new addition in the family to be near me.
I then realised, my home has been and always will be where my mother is.