It took me some time to think of a ‘bittersweet gift’, but then I remembered. It’s actually something very small, but something I used to collect; one of several fridge magnets. It is rectangular shape with a white background, and it reads “You can take the girl out of Scotland but you can take the Scotland out of the girl”. My mum gave me it as a joke at some point, and also gave a “boy” magnet to my brother, as we both now live in England. Whenever I see it, i remember various people I am still close to who I miss dearly, and I miss the place… the beach, the sea, the University Campus of the first Uni I went to. XI am no longer living in Scotland, but I am Scottish by birth and upbringing and it will always be a treasured part of me. I haven’t travelled to anywhere in Scotland in over a year, not since I was in Aberdeenshire last year for my brother’s wedding to my lovely sister-in-law. Part of that is the impossibility of solo travel, my inability to learn to drive, the amount of stuff I need to drag with me (clothes, spare clothes, stoma kit, spare stoma kit, medication, creams, toiletries… and lots more). There is also the extra expense of carers food, accommodation, travel… I do miss people though, I really do. I am passionate about my homeland and nostalgic about parts of my childhood.
Obviously, I no longer live in Scotland. For me, it has been a major achievement, to move to West Yorkshire, while the rest of my family still lived in Scotland, to make a life for myself, and to my surprise, stay here. I’ve managed to be ill, five years ago, and survive, with lots of prayer, support and love, and my family had to flee to my side at a few hours notice. Unbelievably that was almost five whole years ago! I’ve also moved, and added to many times over the list of professionals who oversee my care, and also now have a network of friends who love and support me who I love in return and support them in my own way. I’ve written about those same friends a few times now. It’s also surreal, and lovely that my parents now live two hours south of where I do, and my brother and sister in law live in London.
That”s what’s so bittersweet — there are people I love in both countries, and I miss some of the same things about living in Scotland as I love about living in England. I am, however not nostalgic about everything as this would be unrealistic. I wonder, will I ever return to my homeland? Never say never….