somehow it has been four years since we packed up or sold everything we owned, said goodbye to all the “normals” in our life and moved overseas to eastern europe. four years. it feels like yesterday and it feels like forever. the past four years have been some of the hardest, darkest, most painful, most chaotic, most unknown years of my life. and yet the past four years also hold some of the sweetest, prettiest, best and most special moments.

oh life.

have i ever looked back and regretted it?

there have been times when i have felt guilty and wondered what i am doing. we took our perfectly perfect children, ages 3.5 and 6 months and we moved them to a country that spoke russian and romanian, two languages we did not. we took them “away” from their grandparents and cousins and friends. we moved in january to eastern europe and this happened. the danube froze. one day the “high” was negative 22 degrees. february’s average temperature was negative 11 degrees. i dont even remember those first few months. my first major memories came in may when my parents came to visit us.

but do i regret it?

there was a time when i could barely watch my children do the goodbyes – – watching them bravely wave goodbye to visitors, tears streaming down their cheeks. or the times we have had to carry them through security in order to get them on the airplane. and those were the times i wondered, maybe doubted what we were doing.

but i have learned something through all this, something i get to experience. if it wasn’t for those heart wrenching goodbyes, i wouldn’t have the most amazing reunions. and seeing the looks on my girls’ faces – – the amazement, the excitement, the magic, the sparkle. seeing them race through the airport into the arms of a grandparent. see their looks of shock and excitement to a surprise visitor. listening to them recount the special moments and memories and gifts.

and i realized that while the goodbyes are painful and heart wrenching, we also have the hellos and reunions. and our moments and memories are extra special because we can count them and remember each and every one. our time together is magic and when we are apart we can remember the times we were together. and when we feel discouraged we can remember those moments and memories, those hellos and reunions.

and that is what makes us stronger. so happy four years of living in eastern europe.

Marie Klein Burtt

About Marie Klein Burtt