Long-distance relationships are hard. Many face widespread kilometers away from partners and friends on a daily basis—but there’s something about not having mom around for all of life's milestones, including the good and the bad, that can be exceptionally challenging. While COVID-19's safety distancing measures have separated many for a short period, for some, it's an everyday reality.
We’re touching base with two of our dual-citizenship team members, Leah and Esther, who spend Mother’s Day apart every year. Let’s hear their stories.
Name: Leah Hennig
Job: Senior Product Designer & Developer
Distance From Mom: 2917 Kilometers
1. Where does your mom live? And when did you last see her?She lives in Michigan, Grand Blanc to be exact, and the last time I saw her was almost a year ago.
2. How do you stay in touch?We text frequently and chat on FaceTime.
3. What’s your favourite memory with her? Or a favourite activity to do together?Our favourite activity to do together is shop—actually, on second thought—sunbathe! We’re both lovers of the sun and enjoy getting out the lawn chairs and soaking up some rays.
4. Best lesson you’ve learned from her? Or greatest advice?She lost her parents when she was young so she always reminds me that life is short and to appreciate every moment with the people who love you.
5. What do you miss most about her? What’s been your biggest challenge?Right now, specifically, I just miss the fact that she can’t see me in person throughout my pregnancy or won’t be able to be here when the baby is born. Unfortunately, we don’t know how long it will be until she can. I suppose that’s our biggest challenge too! But most of the time I miss just having someone to go run errands with and someone to physically comfort me when I’m down in the dumps!
Since writing this blog, Leah welcomed her beautiful baby boy, Jude Elwood Hennig, into the world on April 29th, 2020. Congratulations, Leah!
Name: Esther Vara
Job: Buyer & Merchandise Planning Manager
Distance From Mom: 7339 Kilometers
1. Where does your mom live? When did you last see her?She lives in Zamora, a small city in northwest Spain. The last time I saw her was in December when I went home for Christmas for the first time in 6 years (flights are always so overpriced around the holidays!)
2. How do you stay in touch?I call her every day or every couple of days via FaceTime (thank god for technology!) and we also text frequently in our Whatsapp family group chat—we are a very close family despite the distance!
3. What’s your favourite memory with her? Or favourite activity to do together?I had the best childhood growing up and have both my parents to thank for that. My mom was my Grade One and Grade Two teacher, and unlike what most people may think, I have beautiful memories of those school years with her.
As adults, some of our favourite things to do together are cooking and baking, and we continue to share our love for food and new recipes, despite the pandemic.
4. Best lesson you’ve learned from her? Or greatest advice?The biggest thing I’ve learned from her is to work hard for what you want in life and to be independent. Push yourself outside your comfort zone because that’s where growth happens.
5. What do you miss most about her? What’s been your biggest challenge?What I miss the most about her is her loving, cheerful personality (she honestly gives the best, most comforting hugs!) Given the international travel restrictions, she had to cancel her upcoming trip to Canada so our biggest challenge right now is not knowing when we’re going to see each other next. Being far from your loved ones is hard, but at the same time, it makes you value and appreciate your time together even more!