Last night I called my landfamily in Armenia. I haven’t in weeks. I knew it would be hard to keep in touch. They don’t have internet. They live in another hemisphere. They wake up when I go to sleep. But still, I saw them everyday for almost two years, and the morning I left made all of us cry until we just couldn’t anymore.
I called them sitting in the living room of my Texas home. I heard Serine’s voice, and there it was, the first cry since I landed in Texas over a month ago. They passed the phone around. I tried asking Meri and Greta about their upcoming first day of school. Greta will be starting kindergarten on the first. Neither of them could tell me much, passing the phone quickly on. Serine said they have been asking to talk to me everyday but that now they couldn’t get passed a few seconds on the phone without crying. She said they watch my house video everyday.
“We’re adding a room to your house,” she told me.
“Yes, on the side where we were growing potatoes. Now when you come you can bring your family.”
A month ago I wrote about how Armenia felt like a dream, like this place I had just inhabited but now seems so distant it’s almost unreal. But yesterday I talked with Serine, Artur, Meri, and Greta. For the first time since I left Armenia I felt this weight of loss, this deep love for a place that I know is just half a planet out of reach.
I miss everything. I miss lunches at World Vision. I miss the Clooker sweeping around my feet in the morning. I miss calling to my neighbors on my walk home. I miss the handshake of the vegetable man and the smell of the bakery. I miss pizza nights with the other American in town. I miss the mountain outside my window. I miss having a bowl of borsht in my landfamily’s kitchen. I miss long walks to the fortress outside of Stepanavan. I miss the clack of nardi stones on the worn, wooden game board. I even miss the comments and kindness from blog friends I made along the way.
I miss everything about my life there. I am taking this moment to recognize that I am really sad not to be there anymore. Next up: rejoicing that I was so lucky to live there at all.