I was talking to Cara on speaker phone on Saturday. It was a pretty lengthy conversation, I admit it. I was getting the upstairs ready for company, dusting and vacuuming and putting fresh sheets on beds in two of the guest rooms. I got the bathroom freshened, and set out a stack of towels. It was nice to be bustling around getting things done while talking with her.
It felt like she wasn't alone and a world away, a newly-wed waiting for permission to join her husband in his home country. He had to return to begin his new job just a few days after their wedding. They've been apart for weeks. It could take weeks more. It could happen tomorrow. There have been horror stories from people who waited for months. There really is no way to know for sure how long this separation will last.
This covid stuff has added an extra layer of confusion to everything. Once she gets that visa, she's got 30 days to get herself and her cat to the new place that she will belong. There can be no stops. Being an American, she is not welcome in virtually any country despite the fact that her passport clearly shows that she hasn't been in her home country for over a year and a half.
She is being quite brave, but I know it must be lonely.
I remember what it was like to be far from home, back in the day when the only way to keep in contact was by good old US mail. There was no internet. There was no skype. A phone call crossing the ocean was very expensive, and there was an annoying echo that made it difficult to hear clearly. I called home twice in the year that I was away.
I'm not the most technologically proficient gal in the world, to be sure, but let me tell you that I am very grateful for the technology that allows me to dial a local number to talk with her. We can hear each other plainly, and see each other too, if we want to do a video chat.
I cannot wait for the day when I can once again call that number, and see Cara and Colin sitting side by side once again. My fondest, fondest prayer is that they are together by Christmas.
Late Edit: Last night, in what is increasingly becoming part of my routine, I woke up. I lay in the dark for a while, and then got up to get a long drink of nice cold water.
I sat down at the computer to check things while I was drinking that water, and I began to look at blogs. I have found a kindred soul from God knows where that led me to a blog in Adelaide, which led me to a sweet blog from Wales, and it led me to another blog in Melbourne. You know how these things go, and once again, I did all this traveling in my night gown and fuzzy robe.
Anyways, I laughed a little when I got to the blog from Melbourne. He had taken some pictures of a church in his area. One of those pictures was of a detail. He noted that the symbol looked meaningful.
I recognized it right away. It was the Divine Sign of Constantine. Several years back, in an IM conversation with Cara, she sent me a tiny little picture of that symbol. Very tiny. And she told me the story of that symbol, that Constantine saw it in the sky in a vision and heard the words, "By this sign you will conquer". His vision came to pass, and the Chi Rho became his military ensignia, emblazoned on the helmets and shields and banners of his armies.
"Isn't that a cool story?" she asked me
"Yes." I answered.
"Isn't that symbol neat looking?" she asked.
"Yes," I answered.
"I mean if you look at it very closely..." and obediently I enlarged the picture to listen to her next little historical nugget...
...and stopped. "Wait a minute," I said. "Did you get a tattoo?" and she laughed and laughed.
All these years later, I'd forgotten that tattoo. It's a tiny tattoo and it is something that no one would know was even there unless she was in a swim suit. The picture on the blog allowed me to smile in the dark, remembering a time when my itchy footed daughter was always just a car ride away.
I wrote a comment explaining the symbol and moved on to another blog, just a random click.
I ended up reading a photography blog about the nearly abandoned mining town of Chiatura, Georgia.
As Cara and Colin endure the wait to be reunited, they find themselves looking for signs and omens, portents of luck. I think it is sweet. Before I went back to bed, I sent an IM to Cara telling her that I had my own portent: I had seen a divine sign, and had a vision of a city abandoned in Georgia.
I left the office, closing the door behind me and as I walked into the dark hall, I prayed that prayer once again, the exact same prayer that I've been praying for the last two months.