My sister and her three children are moving back to North Carolina. They've been living with my dad for the last 11 months and we've enjoyed having them so close. Of course, it's been difficult living with dad the clean-freak, putting up with Nutty, and not having their own space. Many nights my sister had to sleep in a bed with one or more of her kids.
More difficult was the actual separation of their family. My sister had left her husband in North Carolina. Thousands of miles separated husband and wife, father and children. The problems they face as a couple and as a family cannot be fixed over thousands of miles. It's just not possible. So, after much deliberation and no small amount of emotional energy, my sister and her husband have agreed its time to work on their issues and give their family a chance. Thus, the move home.
After work tonight I took my boys over to my dad's house so we could say goodbye to my niece and nephew. Over the holiday weekend my dad will be driving my sister and her kids down to North Carolina. The two oldest children are going to stay there with their dad but my sister and the baby will be coming back up here--my sister has agreed to finish out her two weeks at work and needs to finish packing up their belongings for the final trip home.
How sad to say goodbye. I am going to miss them and I think they'll miss us just as much.
While I'm saddened by the trouble in my sister's marriage, I have to say the one good thing that came out of all this is that her children finally know our family. We're not just people in pictures anymore. We're aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins.
I imagine the phone bills will be tripled after they move. It won't just be me talking to my sister any more. Each of the kids will no doubt want their turn to reconnect.