Sunday, May 13, 2012


I've had better days.

This week, I intended to write happy blog posts about our recent trips to Italy and Safranbolu, Turkey. But life had other plans for me.

My dad is sick in the hospital in Nebraska, and I think I'm going to make an emergency trip back home to the US to help out my family. I'm needed back home, and that's all I can think about.

These are the days I hate being an expat and being so far away from family.

The distance makes me go crazy.

I feel helpless.

I feel scared.

I don't like not knowing.

And there's always the time difference between Turkey and the U.S.

I also feel responsible because I'm the oldest sibling. I feel like I need to take charge and help out. But how can I do that when I'm 7,000 miles away from my parents?

I worry about my dad. I've always been a bit of a daddy's girl. He taught me to ride a bike, took me fishing, yelled at me during my first driving lessons, encouraged me to become a chef, and was supportive of our move abroad to Turkey.
1997 - Dad and me preparing to attend a Nebraska football game. 
It's been difficult to see him hooked up to IVs and see him in a hospital. He tells me not to worry, but how can I not?

Being an expat isn't always glamorous. Or easy.

Some days are tough.

At the end of the day, I miss my dad.

Tagged: ,

23 comments:

Julia said...

Sorry to hear about your dad, Joy. It's exactly the situation that lingers in the back of every expat's mind. Hope he's better soon and safe trip to you.

Barbara said...

I hear ya, Joy. Julie's right, this is always something in the back of our minds. Take it one day at a time and have a safe trip back to the US.

Turkish Flavours said...

I can feel what you feel..
Have a safe trip to the US and hope your father gets well soon. Our prayers are for him and you..
Selin

Joy said...

@Julia, Barbara and Selin,
Thanks for all your kind words. This week hasn't been easy. I was baking the other day for the cafe and the tears just kept coming. I know I'll feel better once I'm there to help out with my dad.

Natalie said...

Sorry to hear your bad news. This is one of the downsides to being an expat. You will be with him soon though. Thoughts are with you. xxxxxxxxxx

jaz@octoberfarm said...

hi joy! i am so sorry tp hear your dad is sick. have a safe trip home. i bet seeing you will make him feel better! my thoughts will be with you and i wish you the best!

BacktoBodrum said...

Wishing your father a speedy recovery.

Erica (Irene) said...

Sorry to hear about your Dad...you and him will be in my thoughts.
I wish you the best..and have a safe journey home...and a speedy recovery for your Dad.

A Seasonal Cook in Turkey said...

Yes, you absolutely have to go. I have been through this with my own dad so I completely understand. I hope all will be well.

Una Semplice Passione said...

I know how it feels, being an expat myself. I wish you much strength. I hope your father will feel better soon. Have a safe trip to the US.

Lizna Liisu A. said...

Allah yardımcı olsun! Praying for your father. Hope things get easier, Joy! Have a safe journey back to the US.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to go back to Turkey this year, but my fathers health is not good. Coming home will give you the strength to move on afterwards. They only want what's best for us and in the end, we know what's best.

Danielle said...

Hang in there, Joy. And healing thoughts for your dad as he gets well.

Joy said...

Wow! Thanks for all the support everyone! The doctors sound positive about my dad's surgery so that's good news. I'll be back in the US tomorrow nite. Thanks again for your prayers and support!

Jules said...

Joy, I am so sorry to hear about your father. It is really hard to be so far away when your father is ill. I completely understand. I wish all the best for you!

Deniz said...

Joy, gecmis olsun...
İ hope your father feels better now..yes, sometime the distance & different time zone is too difficult to handle...
İ will search your recipes and may vome back with a couple of questions..
Hope to see you soon,
Deniz

Joy said...

@Jules and Deniz,
Thanks for your kind words! My dad is recovering from his surgery at home now, and I'm here to help. Just had to steal a few minutes away to find some wifi and catch up on things.

Doubt I'll be posting many recipes from here, but I did make a delicious maple-soy glazed salmon for dinner last night. My dad's verdict: It's different. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Joy, I just found your blog and read a few posts. Your dad's story strikes a chord. It is a frightening experience to be so far away in emergencies. He must have been heartened to see you nearby. My dad's heart attack happened while I was at sea working on a cruise ship. It was only three days later that I could fly home to see him, and then he passed away while I was overseas.

You have a talent in the kitchen, and I think it's great that you are sharing it. Keep it up.

Franklin

szaza said...

Geçmis olsun. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad— I know how it is. When my grandad was ill, I was on the other side of the planet and felt awful that I couldn't see him. It's certainly not easy being so far away from loved ones— but I am glad you got to get back home to see him.

decodeniquo said...

sour cream and süzme yoğurt dilemma brought me face to face with my biggest fears about being an expat. living in ankara away from my family back in izmir is hard enough in itself (considering that i'm an only child, a daddy's girl and my parents are getting, well, older, not old...) i hope it'll all be ok. geçmiş olsun...
Deniz

Joy said...

Thanks again everyone! I am so thankful my dad made it through the surgeries! Before he went into surgery, I reminded him that I would be there the next day when he woke up to give him some encouragement. The infection was serious enough and his heart weak that we were all a bit worried.

He's slowly recovering and gaining a little strength back.

Becky Russo said...

i'm sorry to hear about your father's health challenges but am sure you brought a lot of joy in every sense to him and your mother. wishing him a steady recovery and i'm glad you are back safe in istanbul. take care.

Joy said...

@Becky, thank you for your kind words too! Being able to spend time with my dad and watch him heal a little made the trip all worthwhile. It's just hard to realize your parents are getting old and now you have to be the parent and make decisions for them.

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