The older I get, the more I realize that being present and making a difference in someone’s life isn’t about being physically present, living in the same house, in the same town, or in the same continent for that matter.
Maybe some of you in long distance relationships or who have friends who moved away or even family members in another country can relate.
Personally, I have most of my family in Uruguay, which is located in South America. My childhood best friend also lives there. I’m not going to lie to you, but I feel closer and more in contact and in touch with the people that I have over there than the people that live in the same town as me. I find myself talking to my family members in Uruguay more than I see or even talk to some of my family here. Sad to say, but that’s the way it is. The same applies for my best friend. I speak to her more than to half of the people that I could easily see more than once a week due to the close proximity of our homes.
With my family, it almost feels as if they are always here for me… they support me unconditionally. It never comes down to shipping things out to each other, it comes down to the conversations we can have and the ways in which we can connect, even if it is only through a phone call. I’m not going to deny that I miss them all the time, but I always take them with me, in my heart and memories, always remembering the good times and few memories from the first six years of my life. These people genuinely care about me and they are always there on the other side of the phone, willing to listen at any time of the day. Not only do they listen, but they understand and they all provide advice and feedback. Sometimes it’s so hard to connect or even see the people closest to you, no time is a good time.
When it comes to my long distance best friend, it’s the same thing. I know I can always reach out to her at any time during the day and she will be there for me. She knows exactly what to say always, regardless of the day, week, month, time of day and no matter how busy she is, she always makes time to catch up with me. It’s okay if we don’t talk everyday, we’ve gotten used to it since the day that she had to move. But not for nothing, the distance has strengthened our bond and made our friendship even stronger. It’s so fun to tell her stories and to catch her up. We shared great moments and memories throughout the years we were able to spend together growing up, and whenever we talk, we always reminisce about something different. It’s as if time stops when we start to catch up and one simple message turns into a conversation that lasts hours. I feel closer to her than I do with others and its ironic because I probably have spent more time with them and of course I have seen them all more recently than I have seen her. Hearing all about her accomplishments and the wellbeing of her family make my heart smile, some people, even with the distance, become family through the years. Actually, more than family, they simply become a part of you… and that’s exactly how it should be. All of the people that I have unfortunately parted from and who live in Uruguay, are all a part of me. The bond that I have with each and every one of them is indescribable and nothing will ever change it. They have all contributed into who I have become today, through their love and support. Distance doesn’t change how much a person can contribute to your life and the differences they can make.
Distance sucks and yes it changes things… a lot, but it isn’t always bad. You have to always look at the bright side of the situation. Always think of how much stronger this one obstacle will make you. There’s one quote from Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook that would always come to mind, and it says, “The scariest thing about distance is you don’t know if they’ll miss you or forget about you,” and yes it is a thought that can be frightening, but so far it hasn’t been like that because I make sure to think about them and remember them with every chance I get, and that’s the key. Remember them, and they will remember you. I will always care for my family and my best friend, even if we aren’t physically together and we are far from each other and I will always be present in one way or the other, even if it is only through the phone. When you can’t always see people who are a huge part of you, you don’t take them for granted, rather you think of them every chance you get, thinking of the day in which you will finally reunite.
My only advice to people who have all of their loved ones close and even to those who don’t, just make yourself be present, even if all you’re doing is talking on the phone or sending them a letter or an e-mail. Make them feel that you love them and care for them, but most importantly, make them feel like you remember them.
And well, for anyone missing people as much as I miss all of my loved ones in Uruguay, think of this, “missing someone gets easier every day because even though you are one day further from the last time you saw them, you are one day closer to the next time you will.”