I have now finished reading Helen Ellis, my author friend’s well researched, informative book on Distance Families.
Her ability to study in-depth, write honestly and portray the many aspects of distance parenting and grandparenting throughout the book is admirable.
Many chapters held my attention, but especially the topics regarding acceptance and reflection of the past. Also, the comment on how knowing your love language is of great assistance in relating with how our families and selves respond to the situations we find ourselves in presently.
Having children and grandchildren who live at a distance from me, I relate to the situations we work through in distance relationships in the 21st century.
But, it is not something new. My fiction series of books focus on the realities of my own historical families. They left their families and countries of birth to live permanently in Australia and New Zealand from the mid-1800s until the 1920s.
The challenges of making their decisions and the reasons for leaving loved ones behind have been pivotal in my research.
These ‘why?’ questions have existed throughout my life. Answering them has brought many beneficial psychological benefits.
Therefore, reading Helen’s chapters, including the one broaching the historical element of distance families and how the families at home coped with never seeing their children or grandchildren again, brought another aspect to light.
In Helen’s book, the concluding chapter regarding the effects of covid on distance family is timely. Like Helen’s family, our family living in Australia and our son who lived pre covid in Indonesia have been affected.
It’s been two years since I’ve seen my Australian family, and I’m forever thankful for regular video messaging. I’ve watched young teen boys grow to six-foot-tall young men over that time. Their parents are enjoying working from home and the less hectic lifestyle. We are all in places of acceptance now, adapting to what is, considering Trev and I were the ones who left Australia and returned home to New Zealand.
My son, who resided in Indonesia, who had a hurried and challenging return to Australia early in 2020, has made the best of returning to his Australian home and business, which he ran from afar. But, he is eager to make his return to the remote surfing tourist island he usually lives on, off the coast of Jakarta.
He has hope for the future to return to new normality once covid vaccinations have made a difference worldwide. He travelled to New Zealand to visit us recently when the travel bubble opened.
And how we hugged! To hold those you love in your arms is one of the finest experiences of family love possible.
I recommend this well researched book to everyone who relates to distance family relationships such as I have commented above.