Posted by: Andy | November 10, 2010

The Call of Love

Well, things have been rather interesting around here lately…and back home as well.

Stephanie and I have always had trouble finding the balance between how to live in Turkey and live amongst our family and friends in the US at the same time.  We deal with this in different ways.  For example, Stephanie has no problem picking up the phone and trying to reach her parents. 

When I decided I should do the same just a couple of hours ago, we had to track down my mom’s cell phone number via my sister.  I’ve been here 14 months and never called my mom’s cell phone.  Weird.  We email weekly and Skype when we can, but it seems as though if what you miss isn’t right in front of you, you somehow miss it less, or at least you fool yourself into not knowing how much you really miss it.

The day started with Stephanie showing me a video of my niece Zoe, who is just over 20 months old, though she was born over three months premature.  It was a hilarious video of my sister-in law, Jamie putting a blanket on Zoe and then pulling it off again, always revealing a beautiful smile that I can’t say how much I miss. 

Then we looked at how much my nephew and Godson Noah has grown and the fact that he will soon be four years old baffles me to no end and made me miss him as well.

Then off to buy bus tickets for vacation, which wasn’t easy, but the tickets are booked and Stephanie is awesome for dealing with the people here (who don’t seem to know what a line is).

Then teaching.  The only normal thing about my day.

 Then home.  I had an email from my mom and older brother about my grandparents being moved into an assisted living facility.  It was a move I knew was coming, but, well, when one is 10,000 miles away or so, the difficulty and emotion of such a thing doesn’t really hit home, wherever that is.

My grandparents had lived in the same house for over 60 years together, a feat I will likely never achieve.  My grandpa referred to the move as their honeymoon and to their new location as their love nest.  I think I’ve hit three of the top ten things I miss about America already.  Zoe’s smile, Noah’s goofiness and my grandpa’s sense of humor. 

Either way, moving my grandparents was an emotional affair filled with difficulties unmentionable and unfathomable I am sure.  So Stephanie convinced me to call my mom and we talked for an hour about how things had gone…and I miss home. 

I wish I could be there for the people I love.  To let them scream about the idiocy of others and just listen.  To let them cry about the difficulties of life and just be there.  To make them laugh and let them make me laugh because that’s what my family does best. 

And here I am at almost 1:30am thinking about what do to in 2011-2012, to stay here or to go back to the US or to go somewhere else or to fly to the moon or to any number of things. 

Life is full of difficult choices, but I know that where ever we are, there will be people to love in many places.  Whether we are in Turkey, the US or any other country, there are people to love in Turkey, the US and every other country and we will love them no matter their proximity, no matter their religion, no matter their level of English, no matter their job, race, gender, political views or anything else that might separate us. 

We have been called to love and that’s what we will do.



  1. Awww. This made me cry. Sending you both lots of love from MN.

  2. You’ve been called to love and you both do it well. You’re missed. You’re loved. You’ve made us proud.

  3. Levi and I just wanted to let you know that we love you both, and we think what you are doing is amazing! On a much smaller scale I know the feeling. You both are very strong and I know with some help from above and much love from all of us you will do what is best for you. Until then, we are thinking about you and praying for you! LOVE YOU!

  4. It is not nice to make your Mom cry!! I am so very proud of both of you. Thanks so much for the phone call.

  5. Thanks for all your comments. Sorry to make many of you cry, but not all tears are shed in evil.
    Melissa, I don’t think what you’re going through is on a smaller scale. I think being more than an afternoon’s drive away is far enough to be out of the loop on some things and feel quite disconnected. Especially having Levi with you has to make that disconnected feeling hurt. Know that everybody in the family who is outside of MN feels as you do and understands being torn in two and loves you just the same.

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