I may be premature. I have been in the past.
There is a distinct possibility that my son Lance, his wife Yume, and their children will return to Japan. Permanently.
They have been living in Sacramento, three years, and by all accounts they have taken up residence with contentment. Yume has even been known to remark how much she enjoys California. Three years and the commentary is now all about the extent to which my daughter-in-law is very homesick. I am aware that she has been there before. Each wave of homesickness met with a more calm and quiet resolve to enjoy her present circumstances and ride it out. Maybe this wave will be the last. Maybe this wave will prove to firm up her mindset to return to Japan.
Who should know better than I what it is to possess resolve? What it is to be homesick. What it is to collapse from languish. I lived for nine years in a foreign country. The country called Oklahoma. Brutal weather and accents so thick that at times I couldn’t make out what the conversation was all about. Painful. They don’t even have an ocean in Oklahoma. Wha? My 20+ years of keeping time with the tide while I frequented my favorite sandy spots along the coast was the joy of a beach girl. A transplanted beach girl not coping well.
It isn’t necessary that I go into all the details. All the minutiae. Keep in mind my favorite movie is The Wizard Of Oz. There’s no place like home.
I don’t wish that brand of languish on Lance’s wife. When their second baby is born next June, I will be at their place once Yume is discharged from the hospital. I will lend a hand with all the cleaning, laundry, and errands while she breastfeeds, and tries for a post-maternity nap.
This gesture on my part may serve to alleviate some of her homesickness. Or not. And if they go through with their plans to move to Japan, so be it. I know what it is to languish in a foreign country.
Plane tickets at $2,000, round trip, are looking like reality to us. All of my vacations centered on designating when I can work around my jobs. I have never met Yume’s mom. Her folks were not at the wedding. No. If Lance and co. do make the move, my change jar will have to grow exponentially to support visits…and meet her family. And rid the atmosphere of any vestige of languish.