Grateful with a sore body and a broken heart.
Thursday, 11.27.2014 - 9:50 am.

Hello from a 12th floor. I have the most amazing view of The Andes from my window, an endless string of mountains from north to south, as far as my eyes can reach. I'm 300+ miles away from home and my cats, Andrew and I are in this city for a psych congress. There's nothing interesting to do or see in this city (except from the mountain range if you're on a 12th floor) but this apart hotel alone makes it worth the trip. It's not just the view, the room is very nice and so quiet. And I need that right now.

I've been sick for over a week, without a sign of getting better. Understandable, it's been an exhausting month and my body finally gave in. The wedding, the family visiting, the new full-time job on top of the other two I have (and one of them is teaching, so even if they say it's a few hours a week, it's much more than that).

It started last week, around the time my brothers left. Brother #2 and family left on thursday night, Brother and SIL #1 on friday morning. By then I could barely stand on my feet. My body was sore, my eyes were closing, my nose was stuffed up. I got a bit of fever. I was sorry to see my siblings go, but also a little relieved. I feel horrible saying that but I was just so tired and overwhelmed.

My parents left yesterday for Santiago and right now they're on their flight back home. They saw me sick for the rest of the week and I didn't get to do much more with them for the remainder of their stay. They were all right, they were happy to be hanging out and resting at the apartment and watching House of Cards. But I left them in tears at the airport yesterday, with their voices breaking down as they were saying goodbye, and I felt so regretful. Like I should have done this with them, or go there, or take more pictures, whatever. It stung, still does.

I did what I could and we had fun. I wish Andrew had taken a day off work to help me and hang out with my family but he just started this month, like I did, and couldn't afford it. He was nothing but a sweetheart with them whenever he could though, and my family loves him. We spent meal times with my parents, which I think are the most important moments to be together.

I'm afraid I'm doing a rather negative balance of all this. I am grateful half of my family came for the wedding, had the time of their lives and loved the place I live. My two brothers want to return next year because they were so many things they didn't get to do in their short visit. I just wish I had had time to hang out more with them...if I was working I was feeling guilty for not being with them and viceversa.

Now everything's come and gone. I look at all the e-mails and folders in my computer in which I have 10 months' worth of planning for 10 visitors: routes, flights, hostels, sightseeings, payments, wedding vendors. That's all gone. Andrew and I returned from dropping my parents at the airport yesterday and it was weird, it was heartbreaking seeing their bedrooms, now empty, now without a purpose (by the way, it was cute seeing my dad saying goodbye to my cats, patting them on the head. Nico even showed him his belly).

In a way it's nice going back to normal, Andrew and I and the cats. There's a price though. My heart aches, my body aches. My sickness has evolved into a horrible cough. I didn't get sick because of the goodbyes, I did because, like I said, this has been a very demanding month and I'm wiped out. What could have had to do with the goodbyes was my reflux. My esophagus burned for days since last week as well and just yesterday it started to chill. This upsets me. Things weren't like this before with me and shouldn't have to be: I can face my emotions without having my body giving me hell.

I realize right now that I'm very sad. Because it's over, but mostly because I feel I wasn't able to be there more for my family (even though they understood completely and never asked for anything but directions). And because I miss them. I couldn't mourn my brothers and families leaving because I got horribly sick. I couldn't mourn my parents leaving yesterday, because as soon as we returned from the airport, we began our five-hour road trip to this city with two other friends/colleagues. Maybe now I can.

Last week, when my brothers were gone, I thought, I understand celebrities now, when they check into hospitals due to exhaustion. I mean, that's not a reason to get admitted into a hospital but I saw it happening; I could've checked myself into a hospital just for that, my body was sore and my mind was not functioning well (up to this day, I can't concentrate very well, so I've gotten even less work done).

Then we arrived to the hotel yesterday and the place is very nice. Andrew has to supervise presentations today at the congress but my and his presentations are tomorrow. So I have this whole day for me here in this room. I appreciate that, and it's like I got my checking into somewhere to rest. This room is also perfect to sit down and write but I lack the energy still.

It feels good getting all this off my chest. I have to digest being married and having my family come and go while I couldn't take days off to be with them. Everyone was pleased though, I assure you. My parents left in tears but also grateful and happy. Grateful for their time in this handsome country, and happy to see their daughter well settled in a place that is not, um, deathly like her homeland, with a wonderful partner to boot. All in all, everyone had a great time and that's all that matters.

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