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Long distance

(29 Posts)
baba Wed 15-Feb-12 10:56:59

There are lots of us whose grandchildren are not just round the corner, so every visit is a mixture of pleasure and pain. Am I alone in experiencing a feeling of utter desolation when we have to part till the next time? Of course, this includes parting from my children too.
We are all very close and I keep in touch by sending amusing cards and notes, texts and phone calls, but nothing can replace being with them.
I have a very busy life otherwise and lots of friends, but there's always the heartache.
Is it just me?

Mishap Wed 15-Feb-12 11:08:07

No - not just you baba.
Two of my GC live nearby and the other 3 are a fair distance away. Because of health problems here we do not see them as often as we would wish.
I am very conscious of the very different relationship I have with the 2 that I see frequently and with the others further away. And yes, there is heartache. I particularly feel for those whose GC are in another country and who see them very seldom. Thank goodness for Skype.

JessM Wed 15-Feb-12 11:08:37


absentgrana Wed 15-Feb-12 11:39:59

Of course it's not just you baba. I shall be seeing my daughter, son-in-law and two youngest grandchildren for the first time since the summer of 2010 next month. It will have been six years since I last saw the two elder grandchildren. We are all counting the sleeps. Saying goodbye a month later will be unbearably painful for all of us.

tanith Wed 15-Feb-12 11:45:54

No you're not baba. I have all 7 grandchildren close by and have always seen them often. Those are my 2 daughters children, my son moved abroad and now seems in a long term relationship and I am already wondering how its going to work if children come along its going to be a heartache for me not to get to know any new grandchildren as I have all the others. I guess I'm going to just have to make do with the great grands that are going to come along anytime soon.
I know I'm probably lucky to have had this time with my grandchildren and I should just be grateful, not every grandma is so lucky.

Ariadne Thu 16-Feb-12 06:27:40

No, you are not the only one, baba!

Butternut Thu 16-Feb-12 08:33:27

No, definitely not the only one, baba. My two live in America and the last time I was with them was 10 months ago. sad

yogagran Fri 17-Feb-12 04:35:57

Definitely not alone baba. At this moment I am in Canada and shall be leaving tomorrow to come home. Leaving my DS & DGD here. It's been lovely to see them and spend time with them but the parting 'goodbye' tomorrow will be so painful. I find it extremely difficult to leave them.
But I have to remember that I am coming home to my DD & two other DGC

Butternut Fri 17-Feb-12 06:29:20

Yes, it's very tough leaving the grandchildren, yoga - you have my sympathies. Have a safe and trouble free journey back.

baba Fri 17-Feb-12 16:29:43

Thank you for all your understanding. I guess the trouble is that they're ALL a distance away. I'd love just one "round the corner". I'm so proud of my very independent daughters. I must have encouraged them very effectively.

golfina Thu 19-Apr-12 22:24:53

My 3-year-old grandson (so far our only grandchild) is in New Zealand. We are very lucky that we are retired, and were also able to downsize and release enough money to visit twice a year. Leaving is very very difficult - I can hardly speak for several hours for the lump in my throat and I long for him and for my daughter. But we video-skype every week and text skype frequently and that helps. The main thing is that they have created a great life for themselves in New Zealand and that makes me very happy. Like Baba, I am proud that our daughter has been able to take this brave step.

absentgrana Fri 20-Apr-12 03:40:14

I have ten days left of my six week visit to New Zealand - which seems to have gone in a flash. I shall say goodbye to my son-in-law and four elder grandchildren in the morning before they go to work and school. I doubt the impact of my going away will strike the younger two until they return home in the afternoon. I shall say goodbye to my daughter, both blinking back tears and smiling with wobbly mouths, and her newborn son when she drives me to the airport. If all goes as it has in the past, I shall snivel into tissues from Nelson to Auckland, then mooch about the airport in a thoroughly suspicious way until my international flight is called. It nevergets easier.

Greatnan Fri 20-Apr-12 06:42:00

I wouldn't let my family come into Nelson airport with me - I just went in and checked the flight to Auckland was on schedule and waved to them to go home! At least I don't have to wait a year before I see them again, as they will be at my grandson' wedding in Kent in August.
The children all hugged me and said 'Don't go, Nan' which was lovely.
I have been having hour long phone conversations with my daughter for the last few days, as we both get free phone calls via our ISP. The line to NZ is amazingly clear - she could be in the next room.
It must have been terrible in the days when emigration meant you would probably never see your family again.
Are you going to post some photos, Absent, and tell us all about your trip?
I am planning to hire a campervan for a week in March and drive down to Queenstown - I want to see Mt.Cook and Fjiordland.

absentgrana Fri 20-Apr-12 07:34:34

I have taken some photographs but they are pretty hopeless. I've never really done photos but Mr absent bought me a new smart chip thingy and I have tried. The pics supposed to show elder granddaughter dancing a Highland fling at her school production have a blurry bright bit with a tiny figure in the distance and the backs of lots of people's heads that were in front of me in the audience. I have a few okay pics of the lovely Finn and some of the other children, but I keep forgetting to take the camera with me when we go anywhere.

The trip has mostly been domestic. I have spent most of my time taking over housework (only 3 weeks since the fourth Caesarean so I think absentdaughter deserves as much practical help as possible), ccoking and entertaining children. Today was swimming, tie dyeing, collages and roast pork. Not exactly riveting for other people.

Mamie Fri 20-Apr-12 07:41:30

I have just had a wonderful week with all of my grandchildren together for the first time ever (the youngest is not quite four). It was the first time my son and daughter and the other children had seen each other for five years. I am trying to hold all the memories in my head and still smiling at how happy the children were together. Now it is back to Skype - visits every couple of months to see the family in the Uk and once a year to Spain. You are not alone!

Greatnan Fri 20-Apr-12 07:43:06

I see - you have been 'useful gran', whilst I am just 'enjoying herself' gran!
It must have been nice to feel that you were there when you were needed.

granjura Fri 20-Apr-12 09:20:39

When I first went to live in the UK, in 1970, initially for 6 months, which lasted almost 40 years- the world was much 'smaller'. Flights were very expensive, so travelling by train with little ones to visit my parents was a huge expedition including 5 trains, and the crossing of London and Paris with several tubes.
Those good byes with my parents were always so tough. But much much worse when they became very old and frail, and I felt I was abandoning them every time - and everytime thinking, this may well be the last time. By then of course, I could jump on the next EasyJet flight, hire a car and be with them within a few hours. I gave up my full-time job and started my own business to be able to come whenever there was an emergency. In the end, we decided to go and live near them, to be there for them. Mum died 3 weeks before we moved, and dad 2 months later.

Still, we love it here- but now we have the same problem t'other way round - with one daughter and 2 little ones in the UK, and another in Tenerife. So good byes will be with us forever. At least, again, I know I can jump on a plane and be there in hours in an emergency- and soon, the grandkids will be able to come and spend holidays with us on their own.

I would of course never ever stop them or make them guilty, but I have to say I would find the huge distance with Australia or NZ much more difficult to cope with- as I wouldn't feel that they are just a small hop away.

Mamie Fri 20-Apr-12 09:26:05

Just the same as us granjura (is that where you are?), us in France, daughter in UK, son in (mainland) Spain!

Gally Fri 20-Apr-12 09:58:26

No Baba you certainly ain't alone as you can see from all the posts. My nearest grandchildren are a 7 hour drive away and my furthest are a 28 hour flight away in the Southern hemisphere. I could certainly have done with them all being closer recently when Mr.G died, but it's just something we have to get on with - it's fact and nothing is going to change it. sad

granjura Fri 20-Apr-12 10:16:34

So sorry to hear this Gally. Would you consider moving nearer to one of them perhaps?

Gally Fri 20-Apr-12 10:28:15

It's a possibility in the future Granjura but I have lived here for 31 years and have wonderful friends. Who's to know if the 'children' won't up-sticks and move themselves, then I would be stuck in an unfamiliar area and feel I should trail after them, although Australia is a possibility - 6 months there and 6 months here quite appeals!! So long as I am able and can afford to travel between the 3 families, then I shall do that. I feel I should stay put for at least a year and see how the land lies after that - don't want to make a wrong decision and live to regret it confused

grannyactivist Fri 20-Apr-12 10:46:57

Gally - very wise to stay put for at least a year. Now is probably not the time to be making major decisions. smile

granjura Fri 20-Apr-12 11:36:25

Yes, very wise, thanks. I've known many friends who really pushed their parents to come and live closer- and in many instances it was not a happy experience at all. Parents lost their bearings, their neighbours and friends, and found it very difficult.

I have no idea what I would do if I found myself alone here? Sometimes I wonder. Perhaps keep a small place here and do long-term rents in the winter in Tenerife, and visit the UK regularly.??? Que sera, sera smile

JessM Fri 20-Apr-12 12:12:38

Austraila and NZ is difficult I find because of the time difference as well as the distance. I will be saying goodbye to my grandchildren this weekend after 3 intense weeks with them. I remember Gally's comment about "putting them in a box" or similar. Just have to not think about them too much in between. sad
Are you going out there soon for a visit Gally ? How are your daughters?

Gally Fri 20-Apr-12 12:31:36

Yes Jess off to Oz in July for Georgie's 4th baby (omg!) and staying for 2 months. South for Imi's 2nd baby next week if I can shake off this awful bronchial cough picked up from Hannah's baby over Easter. Well it keeps me on my toes! Hope you have had a wonderful, if intense, time. Back in the box next week sad