I am honored to be a guest blogger on my husband's blog as I share what it looks like from my view to have Shun-Luoi begin to travel more extensively to pursue cultural and humanitarian photography.
I will drop Shun-Luoi off at the airport to catch his flight to Miami (en route to Haiti) in about 36 hours, although who's counting? Well, I am, to be honest. It is a departure that will be bittersweet for many reasons. I am ecstatic for this opportunity for Shun-Luoi to combine his love for serving the underprivileged and his love for the art of telling stories through his photography. And yet - it's not so easy to be the one left behind...
Being left behind results in having the responsibility of parenting on my own while Shun-Luoi is gone. I dearly love my son, but he is a very active little 14 month-old boy who, especially because I am pregnant, can wear me out! Shun-Luoi is an amazing dad and I am going to really miss partnering together to raise our son while he is gone. There are times I wonder if I'll be able to do it, although I realize that there is no other option. :)
Being left behind also leaves me with other thoughts. We all know that one cannot fully understand another's experience if s/he is not present. How will I support Shun-Luoi when he returns home when I can't really know what he experienced? Will we be able to communicate well about what his 7 days in Haiti was like and then about what my 7 days of life back in the States was like? It will be hard work to really share our experiences while the other has been absent; I realize that. And yet ... we've never done anything like this apart, so the unknown nature of it all can be a bit unnerving.
I never really imagined being married to a man who traveled extensively for his job. To be honest, it is easy to want to wallow in self-focus; how it will affect me (blah, blah, blah). Don't get me wrong - it does affect me and Elijah, but it also affects Shun-Luoi ... it will be a challenge for our entire family. However, as I am warming up to the idea, I am learning that being self-focused is not helpful to anyone, nor is it the attitude I desire to have. Instead, I want to consider the different ways I can support Shun-Luoi throughout this process. I want to make it the best 7 days it can be for my son and me. I want to also focus on those around me to be a blessing to them.
Although the week ahead brings much unknown and mixed emotions with it, I am thankful for this opportunity for both Shun-Luoi and for our family. I'm sure we will learn a lot - about the stories and lives of those in Haiti, about loving and supporting each other in new and different situations, and about what it looks like to continue on this adventure of life together.