Get well soon dad!

It’s hard to put into words how the past few weeks have affected us all, but we are so grateful for your visits and we want to keep you posted. My dad has been battling with a brain infection and after weeks of treatment (including an operation, medication and rehabilitation) we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and I can safely say, he is now recovering in hospital.

The impact of knowing one of my parents is sick at the other side of the world has been brutaI. All of a sudden the chance of losing a parent while I’m too far away to be of any use has switched from a possibility to a probability and the realisation is terrifying. I can only describe my state as being paralysed with fear while I waited for news from one side of the world to reach the other and the narrow window between England waking up and us going to sleep or vice-versa has felt like an instrument of torture.

We never committed to being here for the rest of our lives and considered this an a wonderful opportunity to relive the experience of living in Australia that Ste and I enjoyed ten years ago, this time with our children. Australia is such a beautiful country that has welcomed the five of us with open arms and opportunities to lay the foundations for future generations of Fitzpatricks to enjoy a life in the sunshine. We have made some amazing friends that have turned our new city into a home and the time we have spent together over the past two years has created memories that we all will treasure for the rest of our lives. But is that enough?

I keep reminding myself to ‘live in the moment’ and not let my imagination project me so far into the future, it makes my head spin. But I can’t help it. I’ve been so lucky to have been unconditionally loved as part of a strong community of family and friends that at times like this, I just want to be back in Manchester with our team again.

I am so happy for anyone who can throw themselves into an international move and stay focussed on the positives, because there are so many but I’m finding that increasingly difficult at the moment. I look up at the brilliant blue sky and feel thankful for another warm day then wish my mum was here to feel the sun on her face too or feel overwhelmed with joy as I watch the kids paddle for the first time unaided in the sea, then feel my heart sink that there’s no-one else here to share it with. Every Christmas, every kids birthday, every new milestone reached or performance completed, every fear overcome and memory made is both wonderful and regretful in equal measure. People say “at least there’s video calls these days” and yes, we are very grateful for the improvement in the ability to stay connected but events soon lose their luster when you have to wait a day to explain them.

I am so grateful for the doctors and family members in Manchester that have cared for my dad and got him back on track with his health and I only wish I could have been there to help. Though I’ve checked flights more often than I’ve checked the weather recently, the reality is it is so expensive for us all to fly to England (around $7k) and the only alternative is that I go alone and leave Ste and the kids, but the thought of being so far away from them gives me so much anxiety I could vomit. For now at least we are out of the proverbial water and I can breath a sigh of relief. By the good grace of the universe, we have been given a second chance to enjoy time with my dad and everyone else back in England, how we choose to use that time is the next big thing we need to figure out.

I prefer to keep the blog a place people can visit to share in our positivity and adventures so I don’t want to go into too much detail but for anyone that is considering a move down under, please consider the implications it will have on you not only now but in the future too. It’s a morbid thought but all the sun in the world won’t make up for the feeling of losing someone you love when you’re miles away. It certainly has put the chances of us staying in Australia back into question again. I state of limbo that I wouldn’t wish on anyone!

Love from Leyla

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