Much like the title of this post suggests, today I met more of Reiko's family. Reiko's eldest sister came for a visit with her husband and two young children, and we had a pretty good time enjoying a light afternoon snack and posing for some photos. As this trip comes to a close I'm finding it hard to turn my thoughts back to Canada.
The last two weeks have been quite a bit of fun. Reiko and I have visited so many places, and there is still much left to do when it comes to planning our upcoming wedding. While the counter on the side might show over 500 days, these things need to be planned well in advance. I think that I might just setup another site to track all the things that Reiko and I have had to do in order to marry. It could be useful for other Canadian / Japanese couples that have questions or concerns about what needs to be done and what to watch out for. Lord knows that Reiko and I have a bit of an idea, but there are many things that we likely haven't considered when it comes to us living and working in other nations, and even changing nationality.
The next stage for Reiko and I is the trip to Ontario to meet much of my immediate family. For the moment, this is planned to be during the Japanese Golden Week, which is the next time that Reiko can get enough time to visit Canada. To add fun to this equation, Reiko and I will be meeting in Toronto instead of Vancouver. Hopefully we'll land at the same airport, and within a decent amount of time from each other. I'd feel terrible if Reiko had to kill a few hours in Toronto before I arrived. I'd rather land a day before and spend the night sleeping on those airport benches (assuming they'd let me, of course).
Hopefully my family will be able to set aside some time to meet with Reiko this spring. However, if we can only really meet during evenings, then I can show Reiko many of the sites in Southern Ontario. Niagara Falls will have thawed by the time we arrive, and I've always wanted to try that rotating resteraunt. I don't think we'd go across the Rainbow Bridge to the US, though … the Canadian side is much more interesting.
This will be my first time back to Ontario in almost five years. I wonder how much has changed.
There will be some new family that I need to meet, as well as some others to reconcile with. It should be interesting to say the least. We'll likely only be in Ontario for three days before flying back to Vancouver and spending two days together before Reiko needs to return.
Long distance relationships are incredibly hard. Both Reiko and I knew this well before we started a relationship, and we had even discussed the difficulties beforehand. I have less than two days remaining in this country, and I really don't want to go back. My apartment feels cold and empty without Reiko. She was only there for a few days this past summer, and in that time enough of a mark was left that it can't be filled with anything else. And while MSN is a nice tool to help us keep in touch, it's just not the same as being in the same room.
MSN can't transfer touch, taste or smell. Without these crucial senses, the other two are just a tease. Yet despite these limitations and difficulties, I wouldn't want to be with anyone else.
To everyone that might be having a long distance relationship and finding it hard to keep going, I can only wish you luck with the venture. Don't think about how long it will be until you can meet again, always talk about how short the wait will be. Rather than talk in months, talk in weeks. Anything that can make the time seem less will help both parties. If you can make a relationship work with the distance, then the fruit of that labor will last a good long time.