Monday, October 22, 2012

Overseas Family

Traveling is an integral and completely vital part of my life. Though I don't get outside the United States as much as I'd like to, I crave it on a daily, almost hourly, basis. In my blood, deep in my bones, there exists a need to hear other languages, walk unfamiliar streets, and eat foreign food. I used to consider it a plague, something to be ignored and gotten past, but I've learned to accept it as part of myself. And fortunately, its a part of a lot of people who are very close to me as well. Even as close as my older sister, my sister-in-law and her family. And I love that they are where they are.

I love it until I come to face to face with the reality of it.

At the end of last week a car bomb was detonated in Beirut, Lebanon, killing at least three people and leaving over 80 people injured.

Bomb. Detonated. In the city my sister lives in. 

About a year ago my husband and I had the opportunity of visiting her in Lebanon, and we really enjoyed the country, people and culture. However, since leaving, a veritable civil war has erupted in Syria, increasing tensions in neighboring Lebanon exponentially. My sister has been great at explaining if we have any reason to worry, and up until this weekend, we didn't. But stuff happens. And people respond violently sometimes. And sometimes, it scares the living shit out of me.

I don't have to write about who my sister is to me. She's my sister. A best friend, mentor, confidant and pillar in my life. Childhood grew us together in ways most people don't experience, and I have turned to her wisdom more times than I can remember. But now I can't get past the fear of where she is. I try to ignore it, but honestly, I'm scared and worried. I don't have a positive spin on it, this time. I have faith that she won't try to act as a vigilante and will board the first plane home if the situation worsens. Selfishly, though, I wish she'd get on a plane now anyway.

But that is only because of my own fear.

A fear that is acting selfishly, one-sided, narrowly-visioned. Its the risk of loving people, and respecting their free-will: it might end up hurting you. It might end up scaring you. But free-will is what makes us human, what makes us individuals. We can't very well attempt to rob one person of it without always expecting it of others, which will rob the world of a lot of incredibly beautiful things. Things that came out of places of danger and fear.

So now I will just pray and hope for her safe return.

No comments:

Post a Comment