I watch a video taken almost exactly 21 years ago, of the 80th birthday celebration of my maternal grandmother. It brings smiles when I see everyone look so young, when my boys were still in pre-school in the US, and we made trips to visit our extended family in Singapore. I see the rest of my extended family - grand-uncles, grand-aunties, uncles, aunties, cousins....all converging from different parts of the world to celebrate a grand occasion.
I miss those days when life was a bit simpler. The generation before mine seemed to be better at keeping in touch. I guess being an international family doesn't help with family reunions. Between Then and Now, relocations, and family dysfunctions have caused us all to scatter in the different hemispheres of the world - North, South, East, West; and to lose the connection that once was so close.
Family & work commitments does not make it easy to congregate. Occasions like Chinese New Year, or Christmas, traditionally times when families come together have been relegated FaceTime meetings over the internet. Planning for special birthdays now have to start months, or even a year ahead of time, in order to accommodate travel arrangements, school semesters, and leave from work.
We are a third culture family - children of immigrants who have become immigrants themselves and who have borne children who have grown up with unique life experiences. Do I wish that we had had a more "traditional" life? Sometimes I do....especially during festive seasons. Do I regret our life? No way. We took the path less traveled....and what a journey it has been