Quote from,

Third Culture Kids- The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds
David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken*

Monday, February 6, 2012

To define love.

A friend recently texted me asking me, how I would define "love"? She also asked me, what does love mean to you? I sat there for awhile thinking over what she had asked me and as I sat there, memory upon memory of the appearance or presentation of love in my life came to mind. A hundred scenes had passed before my mind's eye before I had even gathered my thoughts in preparation for answering her question.

I recalled the hands of love that carried me when I was a child, playing on the sands of my island paradise. I looked back and saw the love that was carried on the winds of discipline and rebuke. I heard love call my name as I remembered the day of my baptism and the various mission trips and retreats that followed.

Thus gathering my thoughts, this is what I wrote:

What is love but the essence of purity enacted in such form as that which is tangible to the human heart, bearable to the human soul and present in the truest appearance of any emotion created by as failing a creation as mankind himself. Born of such roots as shallow masks of
smiles and hollow riddles of love poems scratched into paper and made permanent by the ink that put it there, love is diminished and its meaning so degraded that love's precious name should not even be put on as such a label as those who do not truly know it, would place it.
For such love as that, is not love at all but merely lust justified by "love's" pure name. True love is all things unattainable by man's futile efforts. It is above us. It is held but not understood in its fullest nature.

Love in all its beauty is more than the surface of a hug or the victory completion of five months of maintaining a relationship with the person you've chosen to "be with" as your high school sweet heart. It's deeper than anything anyone could ever imagine. It's greater than the chasm that it's absence creates. It's greater than the void of its own departure. Its greater than life and even in death, love is the victor.

So what does love mean to me? Love is the relationships I had, but then lost. Love is desperation I felt when my closest friends slipped away and disappeared into the night. Love is mother who raised me, who gave me her passion, her persistence, her patience. Love is the father who protected me, who taught me what it means to give when you have
nothing, to provide even if it means giving up all you have so that another might gain. Love is the friend who showed me the grace of forgiveness. Love is the teacher who taught me the discipline and consequences of wrong from right. Love is the reason, I am who I am,
for had love not shown its face in a manager hundreds of years ago, or had love not shed its blood that I might live, then I would not be here. For love, true love, in all its mystery and wonders, is the sole testimony that gives me life.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

“Probably only an MK would know”

This new year has been deemed, “The Year of The Suitcase” by our family, as my parents will be spending a lot of their time traveling to various parts of the world in order to fulfill business needs as well as their own missions related trips. The first of these trips began with my dad leaving to go to Europe on a business trip, the second trip was my mum’s.

She went to Solomon Islands. My homeland.

How do I describe the screaming pain inside me? How do I communicate the way I don’t just long to be where she went, but I would die and in a way, am dying, just to be there. To feel the island sun again embrace me as hers, to know the ocean’s arms around me as he reclaims me as his daughter, to again be one with the islands that raised me, to again be with the family I left behind, to hear their voices calling my name, to have my eyes behold the beauty of seeing old friends, familiar places –my home. How do I describe the way the knife of distance cuts into me as miles upon miles of land and ocean separate me from the land that made me who I am, how do I describe that gut wrenching pain that’s so suppressed within me that at times it’s nothing more than a numb, cold core of hidden, buried hurt? How do I describe the loneliness I feel when this chasm of heartache seeks to, and sometimes does, consume me, when the darkness of sorrow and bitter remorse takes over and the present becomes no more and I find myself reliving memories as if it were the “now” instead of the “then”, the “here” instead of the “there”, how do I describe that? How do I describe the way I’m caged, the way this prison of memories holds me hostage, yet I, as captive, don’t always want to necessarily escape, for once freed, where am I? Probably only an MK would know.

My mum wrote on our family blog,
“Bittersweet emotions punctuate my building anticipation. I can’t forget (my family*). They long to be winging their way to the Pacific, but it’s not yet their time. In the meantime I will be the family ambassador who will enjoy the sweet reunions with friends, smelling the salty Pacific Ocean, tasting tropical fruits while bringing the love and well wishes of the family.
Probably only an MK would know how my girls are feeling at the moment. I know this trip isn’t easy for them. But I salute their selfless release and blessing to make this trip. I love you, (girls*). Since you were little, you understood the sacrifices of this lifestyle and have freely allowed us to go. Thank you for making it easy to make this trip even when it hurt to see me go be where you can only dream of being here at the moment.”

Yes, it’s true –probably only an MK would understand; the sacrifices of our lifestyle, the dreams of going back and of being back, the pain of seeing someone else go where you can only imagine being. How do I describe it, this, everything –me, probably only an MK would know.

*Names have been omitted