It never takes much to make me realise how fortunate I am, and how hard others have it in comparison.....
I've been feeling miserable lately about the fact that we won't go to Australia this winter, how we won't get to see family and friends and how once again two years will pass before my kids step foot on Australian soil. It is hard to make the decision to not head down under.
Then yesterday we visited a friend of Makaila's, whose parents come from Irak. The mother in family is heading to the US next week to see her mother, she just found out she has cancer. She will spend a mere two weeks with her.
I asked how long it had been since she had seen her mother and the answer - over four years. Then they all went to visit the grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins in the US. Those kids probably hardly know who their extended family is on their mother's side.
It doesn't make it any easier for me, I will always feel I am denying my children their family.
But yesterday's little encounter does remind me that I am not the only one. And it does help me appreciate what I have - something that hundreds and thousands, millions of families don't have - an opportunity to be together on a regular basis.
She will be broken-hearted when she leaves her mother's side to return home to her own family. But at least she can visit her mother one last time. Many can't even do that.