Whanau First

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The weekend after we arrived in Wellington (our home base), something happened that has never happened before.  My Mum or Nana to those most important to her, had all 9 of her grandchildren gather to celebrate her 76th birthday.  In this day and age of FaceTime and Skype, one can trick yourself in to believing that you are staying “in touch” with the people you love who live far away.  I am certainly doing this with J.  I am the youngest of three with all of us living in different countries. So getting together is challenging to say the least.  We all lead busy lives with families of our own to take care of. But they were once the only family I knew so it is always nice to see my big brothers and their beautiful families in person.  Even to get completely annoyed in person.  It is all better in person.  Nothing is lost in translation.  Comments and intentions can be questioned on the spot (or at least they are in my family…), not left to be misinterpreted for months to come.

So I took this photo of Nana with her 9 grandchildren, in descending age and I don’t think I have ever seen her look so proud.  This photo could not have happened without lots of people making lots of effort to come together.  Sometimes, it is often deemed more important to show up to celebrate the end of ones life than while they are still living it.

Having moved to the other side of the world at 19, I can tell you that these moments are not lost on me.  While I have gained so much from attending school in the US and meeting Jeff, there is no question that much has been lost too.  So I am here with my 3 babies and with the encouragement of perhaps the World’s Greatest Husband, stringing together lots of both fabulous and mundane moments that I hope and pray will last me through the sadness of leaving in July.  My heart, now more than ever belongs in both New Zealand and the US.  But my soul, it will forever belong to this amazing country, Aoteoroa.

Note-my Mum would like me to let you know that she is healthy and not near death as I have apparently made it seem…She told me that, in person.

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