A really long time ago, back in 2005 I think, I moved away from home. I was living with my grandparents at the time, who had been raising us our entire life, or about 80% of it. I left my small Southern California desert community and moved to the city of Corona, Ca. About 40 min from the Pacific Ocean. My reason for moving was I was moving in with a boyfriend who lived about an hour away from me and we wanted to start a life together. So I packed up my Jeep and said heartfelt tearful goodbyes as I drove off from my family and friends. I was scared, I cried. I was 21 or 22 at the time, I’m terrible at math, and this was the first time living on my own.
I only got to see my family on some holidays. I had to split these between mine and his families, so it was tough going from being so close to only seeing them a few times a year. I had new nieces and a nephew that I wasn’t seeing enough. I had grandparents, a mother and my sister that I missed dearly.
A few years later that relationship ended in a bad way. I still decided to remain living in the area I just decided to live with roomates so I can keep my job. I was single and able to see my family a tiny bit more than before but I chose going out almost every night because I was lost and lonely.
Then in 2009 which would be 3 or so years that I have been away from home, I got myself into another long term relationship. Which also lead me to eventually move further south into San Diego. About a 4 hour drive from my family. That was tough. That made it even more diffucult to see my family. I had a lot of hard times so it wasn’t like I could just drive a few miles or even 30 min to go see them. It would be an all day and maybe over night trip, which I had a full time job I couldn’t get out of.
While I was living in the San Diego area (mainly Oceanside), my grandma had to get taken to the hospital. She was very sick. I couldn’t get to see her. Then my grandpa got ill and we found out he had cancer. He was doing radiation but it was just leaving him feeling very awful. I wish I would have been there to comfort him. He was my second dad. He raised my sister and I. I felt horrible for not being there.
Fast forward to Dec 2011. My boyfriend and I at the time had broke up. I decided it was time to move back home. I spent the next 3 months in a deep depression but at least I was home spending time with my loved ones I have missed so much.
When I came home I was pretty shocked at the state my grandfather was in. He had cancer that traveled to his brain. His hair was falling out, he was pale and barely ate. This strong man that was always on the move doing something around the house, dancing with my grandma in the kitchen, playing golf and cards with his buddies was limited to a chair cause he had no strength to move. He couldn’t even drive himself. It was a huge shock to my system. How did I not know how bad this has gotten?! Was I just wrapped up in my own life and not reached out to my family enough?
Needless to say, he died a horrible painful death March 2012. 3 months after returning home. I like to think in my heart that he knew he was passing soon, and God somehow, someway, brought me back to him to spend those last few months with him. I thank God for the relationship that Ias was in had ended at the time it did. It felt like fate. I was able to sit by his side along with my sister, grandma, mom and my brother in law, and hold his hand as he took his last breath.
It’s been almost 4 years since his passing. When I think about him, I feel so much appreciation for the love he has shown me in my lifetime. He taught me what a real man truly is. He taught me many things. And I regret not being there for him and the family for that long amount of time I was away from them. I regret not picking up the phone more often to check in and see how they were doing. I regret letting months go by between visits.
I can’t stress this enough, your family is everything. Staying connected with them is so extremely important, no matter the distance between you. Whether it’s a meal time or coffee conversation, or a video chat. Take it from me, I regret not staying in touch. I would give anything just to go back and have a video chat with the old man.
There are so many awesome technologies on the market that are affordable, and that will help you keep in touch with your loved ones. And if your grandparents are slow at learning new technology like mine were/are (grandma is still alive and kicking), you can still find easy options that even they can figure out.
Hope this motivates you to reach out to a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while. I think I’m going to make even more of an effort myself to be more in touch and involved.
Need an affordable device to stay in touch and not miss those special family moments? Check out Nucleus intercom systems for some great options. Nucleus is a family communication device that connects you with the people you love, whether they’re downstairs or across the country.
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Take care my friends.
XOXO, Paige ❤