This past Christmas was my fifth one in Taiwan. I love so many things about Taiwan, particularly my students. But the holidays this year brought out a very reflective side of me.
At Christmas, I thanked many people in my post at the holidays on both sides of the ocean. And while I included my children in those thank you’s, I had written another paragraph that night that I didn’t include in the post.
I have four children, and throughout my time here in Taiwan, technology has helped keep us close in spite of the distance. Doug (the oldest) is the only one who Skypes with me regularly, but Kate (the youngest) and I talk on Facebook almost daily. She and I have a couple of ongoing projects we work on together, and she is the mother of the wonderful Mr. Logan, my nearly three-year-old grandson. She also blogs (http://sincerelykaterz.wordpress.com/), and I can share her life that way. I don’t talk to the middle two sons as often as I’d like, but they both have wives who help me stay in touch. Through Megan’s amazing food blog (http://meggoesnomnom.com/) and Mindy’s Facebook posts, I feel like I am still part of Tom and Erik’s lives. But there are times when even technology can’t bridge the longing for family that seems to intensify during the holiday season.
So as I wrote a few weeks back and thanked my family and friend on both sides of the ocean, here is the paragraph I wrote that I did not send that night.
Thanks to my lovely children for filling my life with wonder and for building lives of your own. As I watch from afar, this Christmas has made me realize that I must find a way to make my way back home to be with you not just for the holidays, but always. I don’t like being this far away from you. In spite of the fact that we can keep in touch, it’s not the same, and my Christmas wish this year, is that there will only be one more Christmas that we celebrate on different sides of the world.
I’m posting this now to let you know that those feelings and a lot of thinking have led me to a decision. I will only return for one more year of teaching in Taiwan. Come summer of 2015, David and I will return to the U.S., to you, our families and to our friends who have stayed in our lives throughout this long separation. Taiwan has been a wonderful place to live for these last few years, but it’s time to go home.
I know that home is where your heart is, and my heart is very much here in Taiwan and will continue to be until I actually pack my things and leave. However, as long as Mr. Logan and my children are not here, I feel that my home is somewhat incomplete. I can never adequately thank all the people who have helped me feel welcome and at home here in Taiwan. But in the next few months, I plan to feature some of them in a few of my blog posts. In the meantime, I still have time here to be with everyone and to continue my work here. The only thing that has changed is that now I know how long I will be here, and when I will head for my other home.
I want to thank Belinda at http://BusyMindThinking.com for the photo above. She loves to photograph the many faces of the sky. Her pictures are always a delight, but this one grabbed at me in a profound way. The sky and the road, both open, both with no end in sight. I feel like I need to trust this road, that it will lead me home.