It’s been eight years since I first met that sweet, fiercely intelligent, young woman in London. We may not have known it at the time, but it was a night that changed both of our lives forever.
It’s been seven years since that same petite, strong, young woman met me again in my new home. She took me under her wing and helped me survive. I was a callow new arrival in her proud and ancient country.
It’s been five years since we married; a decision that feels just as right now as it did all that time ago.
It’s been almost two years since our beautiful daughter, the light of our lives, was born. That was the moment that bound us together irrevocably, and gave new, urgent meaning to our lives and our relationship.
It’s been a year and a half since we made the decision to come home to England, at long last.
Finally, after a long, hard struggle, we are coming home – together – as a family.
Depression is not really part of my emotional make-up. I can honestly say, though, that the past year and a half have certainly been tinged with it. Lots of tears of anger, tears of frustration, and, mostly, tears of sadness have been shed.
The year and a half’s struggle in Japan that my son, Steve, wrote about in his contribution to this book, was a struggle for us, his family in the UK, too.
It was a sad time. I feared that my son and his family would be exiled forever.
I spent many days worried, saddened, and angered at the thought that my British-born son – and his unique family – wanted desperately to come home, to the UK, but that the British government was stopping them.
The fear is over now. Yoko has been granted her spouse visa and they are coming home in April. We – his family – can’t wait!
It will be so good to have the entire family round for Sunday lunch, for special occasions, or, simply, to spend time together. It will be so good to meet up for a coffee or to visit them in their own home. It will be so good for the cousins to get to know each other, to play together.
Sunshine is returning to our family.