I want to see my family.
It started as a tiny little thought as I stared at the smiling faces of my niece and nephew. They had moved with their parents across the ocean for a grand life adventure in Italy and there I was sitting in Hot Springs, Arkansas, missing them terribly.
Of course we’d gathered and seen them several times before they hopped the pond but now an ocean sat wedged between us and I wasn’t the only one feeling the distance. I remember that we hosted my parents for Christmas in Arkansas that first Christmas they weren’t able to see their grands in person and it was then that I hatched my plan.
“Mama, let’s go to Europe.”
She looked at me and then came the “we’d love to but it’s too expensive”.
And then it hit me, what was the point of working all the time if you couldn’t have time to be with the people that matter to you?
I made a promise to my mother right then and there that I would find a way to afford this trip for us and you know what, WE DID IT.
In fact, we went twice in one year.
These trips also signaled a significant shift in my life. I had to make some difficult choices and step out on faith in a way that I have never done in my adult life. I had to start thinking differently about what living my life to the fullest meant. I had to let go of some old dreams to make room for new ones. And the funny thing is, I had no idea that my series of little changes were building to a big change that was coming on the horizon.
The COVID 19 Pandemic
Throughout this global pandemic, it’s my memories that have helped me to remain grateful for little things that turn into beautiful big things. The memory of holding my niece in my arms and rocking her to sleep when she woke up in the middle of the night. The memory of conversing with my old soul nephew and marveling at how his mind works and weaves explanations for life’s subtle wonders.
The memory of watching my parents wandering the streets of Paris as happy in love as the day they met.
The memory of my brother being the happiest I can remember seeing him since the days when we did not yet understand adult responsibilities.
One thought leads to a plan that dominos and affects others along a chain of happy circumstances and before you know it stamps are finding homes within our passports.
I want this virus done. I want to be able to safely board a plane and travel to see them all again. With Italy back on lockdown and vaccinations still ongoing in the U.S. my brain tells me very clearly that it’ll likely be 2022 before that trip can happen. While the thought of that makes me want to punch something, I couldn’t make the trip in good conscious right now because I’d be concerned about endangering others. But I pray that people all over the world will remain vigilant so that we can get a firm handle on this virus and make it possible to safely travel internationally once more.
Marta C. Youngblood is the founder and creative engine behind TheWRITEaddiction creatives co-op founded in 2014 as a virtual community supporting writers from all over the United States of America. Marta’s passion drives her to support the success of creatives from all walks of life to honor their talent and share it with the world. She believes that working in our creative callings does not have to be synonymous with being a “starving artist” and helps creatives master the business skills and strategies they need to work in their gifts.