Published 2012-05-23 14:18:27
One of the difficulties of living abroad is that you are not just starting a new life, you're also leaving a life behind. That includes cultural norms, friends, and - above all - family. I was once again reminded of my abandonment on the second Sunday of May, Mother's Day (as celebrated in the United States).
What to get my mom? What she wants - spending time with me - used to be the easiest gift. Now that this gift is unattainable, I need to get more creative.
Possible Mother's Day gifts from abroad:
- Phone Call - The next best thing to being there is to hear your voice. Inexpensive, and easy to do.
- Flowers Delivery - Always a nice touch, this allowa her to show off a bit at work.
- Visit - The best gift is a visit from you.
I knew I would call, but that I couldn't make a visit happen. I've used the flower method before, but it's a bit traditional and I wanted to do something different. Looking over my bits of rag tag memorabilia, I came across postcards I had meant to frame. They were of the places I visited with my parents last October. We had taken a road trip from Budapest to Bratislava to Vienna and it was magic. From these humble beginnings, I had my gift.
I wrote a story of the trip on the back of the postcards, completed with an "I'm missing you" message on the Washington postcard from home. It was a little piece of our collective memory, a little piece of us. I mailed the postcards to her and waited anxiously to see if snail mail still worked.
It did. Tears were involved. Success!
The Twittersphere also delivered news of Mother's Day celebrations abroad and differences in dates.
Expat Content Editor