It’s been an entire year since I packed my wife and daughter off to the Devil’s armpit of El Paso, the promised land of hope and opportunity. I don’t think any of us were prepared for the trials we would have to face, and still have to face to this day, in order to be reunited as a family. The US visa process is like tackling the big red balls on Total Wipeout. I could throw caution to the wind and launch myself at them with nothing but a strong will and a can-do attitude, but in all probability it’ll only result in spectacular failure, leaving just one option remaining; a bypass of the official obstacles and a tactful swim across the Rio Grande. I’m not even totally against the idea, I mean, I’d have to acquaint myself with a couple of bad hombres, but I’m quietly confident that I’d fit right in.

Trying to build and maintain a new home and a new life has been a drain on our time and resources, one that we never predicted. We had assumed giant strides would be taken at will, but instead we’ve been treading baby steps. One day at a time we’ve notched away at the wall that divides us, and slowly but surely we’re getting there.

“We’re getting there”

I think it’s a phrase that we’ve taken turns of assuring one another of, yet it is testament to our commitment and our resolve that we will not be beaten, that only a serious criminal conviction or Chris Hemsworth can ever divide us, and I’ll at least fight the criminal conviction.

Being separated for such a long period of time stirs a lot of emotions which I’m used to avoiding at the best of times. Just being asked about feelings and my palms begin to sweat and the roof of my mouth turns to sandpaper. It’s like watching a movie with my parents and sitting through a five minute sex scene, catching the odd judgemental glance.

“Who chose this movie?” They’ll scoff…

I’m getting better though. I think.

Truth be told, I miss my family. I miss the beat of every day life and the sweet cadence of fatherhood. It’s frustrating to be adrift at sea with just a single paddle, endlessly spinning in circles as I painstakingly search for the waves that’ll carry me to shore, and yet it is hope that keeps me going. For a pessimist, I’m surprised to say that hope has been such a driving factor in our relationship. It has carried us through the most difficult times imaginable, and it guides my thoughts each and every day. I have three beautiful young ladies awaiting at the end of this vast blue expanse, and there’s no amount of wind and rain, or stalking creatures of the depths that can dampen my desire for dry land, and an end to all of these metaphors.

So, while a year has passed us by, it has not been without it’s lessons or it’s challenges, and while it may be a year that is lost to us forever, I take comfort in knowing that we are at least a year closer to being together.