J Simens.com

Geography Barriers in our Expat Lifestyle


Anyone whose main goal is to help others instead of thinking of obstacles to put in their way is definitely a hero in my eyes. When this person happens to be your own daughter, words can’t convey how you feel. Jackie is my hero.

My personal hero . . . Thanks, Jackie

Being part of two worlds that do not easily overlap, I am often flapping around the world like a bird without wings. When my “sandwich generation” collides with my expat work world, it seems like a disaster in the making. Having a child head off to college in the USA when you live 8,500 miles away has been hard. The challenge of adding another geographic barrier into my life as my mother ages has been hard.

Special time with my Mom

Special time with my Mom

Jackie is not an adult. She is shouldering the normal burdens that are associated with attending college: maintaining her own apartment and helping out with an aging grandma. When her classes are over, you will find her on the way to Grandma’s apartment. She takes lunch to her, catches up on what Grandma might need, and makes sure that I am kept in the loop of what is going on in regard to everyday life with my mother.

Sometimes the things Jackie does are small―making sure her grandma can open the jars that are in her own refrigerator. Sometimes the things are huge―making a three-hour trip just to help Grandma get from the airport back safe into her own apartment late at night. Jackie does all of this willingly.

As I report on Jackie, a teen hero, it makes me confident that this current generation of teens has some heroic and selfless people to run the world in the near future.

Now my mother has had to move to a full time nursing facility so she is not located near my daughter.  She is now living near my younger sister.  I am still separated by too many miles to count.  As expats, we need to have a whole group of family and friends who will step in and help when there are geography barriers in our lifestyle.

At the FIGT (Families in Global Transition) conference we had speaker after speaker talk about

The Global Family: Redefined

As my own family naturally changes, my global family is consonantly changing. I love the power of my own family to support my global lifestyle. I only hope that I can return the favors to them in the near future.

Notes:

 

Related article Here.

My story about Jackie was featured in A Celebration of Personal Heroes Produced by The Gratitude Book Project® Team, a division of Kozik Rocha, Inc. Smashwords Edition Copyright 2011 Kozik Rocha, Inc.

  • May 16, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I have heard from a variety of expat friends who have also had their college age kids step into help when this tri-generational needs surfaced. Please give us your examples of these wonderful kids who will be leaders of our businesses, politics, government and etc. soon. We’d love to see your comments below.