An hour ago my parents loaded their suitcases into the rental car and headed back to Heathrow for the plane trip home, if the weather allow them to leave in time. When they left, there was such an emptiness in the house, and in me. I haven’t felt this homesick for Sweden in quite a while.

homesicknessI used to have serious bouts of home-sickness during the first month or two after I moved here nearly two years ago. We’re talking about grabbing the nearest suitcase, stuff everything within reach in it, and running for the door level of home-sickness. Then I met Mark, and it went away.

Illogically I sometimes get pangs of it, despite everything that I have with Mark here; a house, dogs, a car, a life, love, a future, ambition and dreams. Still, there are moments when I long to go back there to the cold and the dark and the vast forests. I don’t have these moments often, but I do have them sometimes – particularly when my parents have been here and leave again.

Like today, when I waved my parents off, and they headed back to their lives after coming back into mine for a few days. Seeing them was good, and remembering the good times with them was good, for despite all my bitching about them, most of the time life with them was good.

Maybe my bitching about them has more to do with keeping up appearances as a teen than any actual conflict. Even when dad is in his lecture mode, I recognise that he doesn’t do it because he wants to be mean or difficult. I have wondered sometimes if he really feels anything for me, but that is such a childish question isn’t it? If he didn’t, he wouldn’t go to all this effort doing things for me.

So, seeing them leave, and knowing that, the home-sickness hit me. Mark has recognised the signs and has left me sit here alone for a bit. Iโ€™d rather he didnโ€™t, and that he would come over here and give me a hug, but it gives me some time to get some things done before we sit down to watch a film in our new sofa.

This feeling is transient, and will be gone soon. Regardless of what I feel, I wouldn’t trade this life with him for anything. That other feeling is just… silly. Irrational. Meaningless. My life is here, and my choices will always be about preserving this. The rest is just silly nostalgia.

But nostalgia is useful because it focuses the mind on the things that were good, but which are gone now. It focuses on the fact that maybe teens are extremely selfish, and that it takes separation like this to drill through all the self-serving bullshit so that I recognise that which is underneath.

That my parents are good and decent people that have done their best for me, and that having them is a privilege extended to few people. And maybe it took losing them to realise this, finally. I shanโ€™t whinge too much about them, I hope, in the future.

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