About a month ago, I hit rock-bottom when DH was out of town and I had a stomach bug and the two kids. Man, does it suck when you have kids and get sick. What a difference from the pre-kid days when you could stay home from work and watch TV. Heh.
Anyways, I had flirted with the idea of moving back to New Hampshire to be closer to my parents and siblings there. My husband talked me out of it because he reassured me that once he was done with his book (the end of this month), he will have a saner schedule with less travel and can help me. Plus, we would lose money on our home if we were to sell it today and we do not have the money to purchase a second home. Most importantly, we love Berkeley! The warm weather, the politics, the diversity, city life and culture — this is who we are.
As if I needed more proof to stay, I smiled at the advice Salon’s Cary Tennis recently gave to a woman who, in a worse position than me, but still was wondering the same thing: should she move back home to Wisconsin — after years of living in her beloved Colorado — to be closer to her mother who is dying of ovarian cancer. Her two sisters also live there. Tennis said no.
I would not move back there now. If you want to move back there, you can do so later. Instead, right now, I suggest you maintain your own household and be ready to travel on short notice and to make extended stays.
So maintain your stable home in Colorado, and visit as often as you can. Be there. But don’t move there. You will be glad, over the months and possibly years ahead, that you can return to your Colorado home for respite. The near future will be hard enough as it is.
If you move back there now, not only might you feel trapped, but it also might not be the best thing for your family. They are under great stress. So if you relocate to Wisconsin in the midst of this stress and difficulty, you may find yourself struggling with your sisters over things none of you really understand, buffeted by powerful and unexplained emotions driven by deep, unacknowledged motives — to save your mother, to reunite the family, to recapture a happier time when your father was there, to overcome guilt about leaving for Colorado. And those struggles might divert everyone from what is really going on. This is about your mother. Your mother is gravely ill and will probably die soon. That is the thing you must face.
He is right that it may be an impulsive and emotional decision and one she may regret after her mother passes away. Of course, to each her own. I may have a hard time staying away if any of my parents were gravely ill.
But I liked his perspective in why we may choose to live where we do:
So you must be strong and have faith that you moved to Colorado for good reason and you fell in love with the state for good reason. Places that draw us do not always draw us consciously; there is some other entity in play here, what we refer to loosely as the soul, the sum of the unknown but deeply felt forces that guide us and push us without our fully understanding how and why. So you must trust that you are in Colorado for good reason, and do what you can from there.
I note with interest that it is ovarian cancer that your mom has, and that you have just had a baby, and that your mother’s children are three women. Three sisters. Three sisters whose mother has ovarian cancer. The father figure is a stepfather. This is a profoundly female universe. Your mother, you might say, did good work with her ovaries; she left many more functioning ovaries in the world. And now she is passing out of that world. I don’t know exactly what that means for you and your sisters. But I suspect that in the language of the psyche it all means a great deal.
We originally moved west for work. It was the height of the dot-com era and we smelled opportunity. Thankfully, California has been the place we have been able to achieve our dreams, which is why we cannot fathom ever leaving.
What originally drew you to your current homes, MotherTalkers? Would you rather be somewhere else? Why?
I actually dream of making enough money to bring my family here. My parents love it here, too, and have expressed interest in re-locating.