Once, many moons ago, the then editor of Fair Lady (a well know magazine in South Africa),Jane Raphaely, wrote an article on the loneliness of the long distance mother. She wrote of groups of women meeting to show each other the latest photos and to share news of children and grandchildren around the world. So many of my generation left South Africa in the 70s 80s and 90s, that it was, and is, unusual for any family to be able to gather together at the same time. I was one of those children. Now we have come full circle, and I have a child of my own on the other side of the world, although she is only on a 2-3 year contract. Now I know how my own mother must have felt.
It is not a case of wanting to keep your child with you or of wanting to stop them from following their dreams at all. Both Andrew and Diana left home years ago to go to uni and have never really returned, but I could drop everything and see them when I wanted to, or if they needed me. As I have said before, I raised my children to fly, and I am so proud of them, but the reality of the sense of desolation is quite overwhelming at times and it surprised me. Thank heavens for cheap calls and webcams. And messenger and emails. I will just have to keep feeding the piggy bank...!