I live across the world from my family. It's not temporary and it isn't likely to change. We chose it to be that way. They're there, I'm here, with only Skype and email between us. Over the years I would sit on pins and needles waiting for any shred of information as my dad underwent his heart surgery and my brother became a father. And you wonder, and you dread the moment that something bad happens. When you get the call. Until you do. Over the weekend I received an email. Nothing more that a subject. My grandmother passed away. My mom was bracing for it, and I guess she made it through another week. I hoped she'd have that one more fight in her. With a simple sentence reality came crashing in. It was strange. Just one line of text and yet so definite, so final, so unapologetic. What else could you have said anyway? For the next few days I couldn't really focus on anything and find a place on myself. Should I be calling home, taking my mother away from her preparations just to ask how she's doing? I think the answer's obvious. I'm here, they're there. It's not an easy email to get but I'm sure it's much harder to write. Should I be doing something? Such is a life of an immigrant I guess- We might live in the XXI century, the distance is voluntary and all the world's technology is supposed to bring us closer but the feeling of disconnect and isolation never lessens. All I can try to do is make something of myself and through my work make my family proud.