For me the biggest thing I have lost I soppose and this is going to sound really trite in comparison to some of the more serious losses but it was moving as a child from a small town in the midwest to the southwest and my family having lots of social issues. My parents were already not able to provide a regular parental supportive environment and in the move we also lost the network that had been replacing this which was rich with interwoven relationships. We lost our extended family and community connections in the move. Nor would we ever be able to re-create this community network in our new place.
Although I grew to love the southwest, the skies and the friends I have there. Now it is so much easier to keep in contact with the internet this was not commonly the case until the ninties and I was in my thirties by then. I am really a midwesterner at heart. When I say extended family to me it means community. Oh, of course for jobs or by circumstance we often find ourselves far from home.
I appreciate the other blogs on the suggested topic of loss. Nothing else came to mind immediately. And I had to search to come up with this one. I am glad to blog about this topic as it would be a great theme for a fictionalized book idea I have about the move. Loss would be a great theme. Of course I am sad that my grandmother died but grandmas tend to do that eventually. A friendship? A true love? Oh, my experience is that friendships wax and wane and I never really had a true love at the right time that I could do anything about it. Plenty of crushes from afar kinda thing.
Although I would be happy to see any old friends or former boyfriends I don't feel I need to see them today or anything a lot of them are on my facebook nowadays. Money a car? I have not really lost anything like that. All the terrible losses associated with medical problems I haven't experienced personally. I have never had much money although had a good job for 15 years at the same organization. So enjoyed financial stability in my adulthood.
My sense of loss at the time of the move was basically immeasurable and the first months I remember counting the days for an entire school year to return for the summer. This would begin a strange back and forth of our family from the midwest and the southwest for the next four years. I would not considered myself offically moved until a last summer back home at 14 years old. I have photos of me raising a calf wearing a head scarf with my skinny arms exposed dressed in a sleeveless polyester shirt like my grandmother with the little zipper in the back of the neck.
I felt that our move was finalized after my parents divorced and stopped living together two or so years after. Eventually we were all established in the southwest. Both my parents remarried again and divorced. I think second marriages there is a 70 percent divorce rate 'unless one of the partners has never been married before then they stand a normal 50 percent divorce rate of the rest of the USA'. What I am trying to say is a lot of people divorce.
My father after many years of internet dating for lack of a better term got married a third time and my mother has no interest in a third marriage. She moved back to our small midwestern town with her then 13 year old daughter, my half sister. As did my youngest sister many years later. My middle sister is still in the west. I also have yet another sister from my father's second marriage who has never lived outside the southwest and seems very comfortable there. She is doing all right. I don't see her moving a lot and staying around there.
To be honest I think that me and my two younger sisters were all traumatized by the move in different ways excacerbated by the social problems of my parents and communication issues in general. My parents second marriages each with a daughter also grew up in a lot of social discord. Overall parents have a lot of influence in creating relationships with the siblings and family. If there are severe social problems this type of leadership is lost or worse relationships are purposefully destroyed. And than social issues get in the way of communication.
And strangely my half sister from my mother's second marriage who never visited our small town until she was eight years old for my grandfathers funeral and had minimal contact with extended family as a child carries this same sense of loss and moved back with my mother. She married a nice guy and is serious about being a good parent and she is doing all right. I don't see anything but positive things happening for her although she has a lot of pain to deal with like we all do. I can not imagine her desiring to live there in her old age I see her in sunnier lands.
I realized after blogging about the suggested topic this week there are solutions. Divorce and social issues and moves are fairly common experiences for many people. Perhaps would be an interesting novel topic and understandable to many people. I can't help but think that if me and my two younger sisters would have had an easier time of it overall if we had been in our hometown where we had a cohesive social network and so much extended family and community support during my parents divorce and added social problems.
For me I soppose the solution is when confronted with pain or a problem one must begin to work on it somehow. When I begin working on a problem it becomes exponentially smaller. I did live in the southwest for 25 years and didn't move back to my hometown when I had the chance of a job in 1996 after spending a summer there. I soppose if I had really wanted to I could have moved back for graduate school but I didn't. My work paid my graduate school tuition and I did not have the same situation available anyplace else.
Healing from loss takes a lot of time. For me volunteer work in my community helped a lot while I was single. Also spirituality and various hobbies or group activities can be ways to find like minded friends. Also talk therapy with a professional to learn the basic issues and not always be in reaction to past pains. The ultimate goal is to feel better and not always reacting to life out of some old pain. That is what I mean by working on stuff.
In my late thirties I took an art class in Paris and met my husband and returned home and continued to write by email. He came to visit in May of 2004 and we decided to get married. I visited Paris again in September of 2004 and spent the fall organizing my permenant move. Putting my few books, a painting, old letters and other small memmentos in 8 or so boxes in a friends attic. Selling or giving away everything else. We married in April of 2005 and we have a son who is almost five this spring. We are allright. My husband has an interesting job that he likes. I have taught english and am in the midst of changing jobs now that my french is a little better. I did return to the southwest two times after we were married to work and finish my masters. So, just like not really making a clean break when I moved from the midwest it took several tries. I consider myself officially leaving in 2005.
Now, strangely because of my son I have more interest in him seeing relatives back home. So I have not returned to that small sunny city at the edge of the world in the desert for now. I don't really see a reason to do so in the near future. Although I would consider it for a special event or reason. For now we go back to that old grey town I grew up in. I keep fantasizing about retiring there. Getting a medium job and buying a small house in mid-sized city near were I spent my childhood or just going for one or two years so our son can experience American high school. The latter is probally more realistic.
When my husband retires in ten years or so we will consider a year or two back. I would never consider a permenant move unless my husband and son were also interested in it. Although we could also just stay here and visit. Or a true blue fantasy of mine (I don't know of my husbands' first choice) is taking a writing studio and live in Paris or New York. We are not well to do so these last ideas are just daydreams. There is often talk of at my husband's work of going to Asia. That could happen. I think that would be neat to live in Asia for a while. My daydream choice would be a year in New York for our family.