There is no such thing as happily ever after. After Ava’s birth, for a while there, it was as if time stood still and for a while I was wrapped in a cloak of warm, fuzzy, happiness but life happens and sooner or later I had to unwrap myself and step back into reality.

My current reality is not a happy place. I’m an emotional mess. Last night, we went to the airport to say goodbye to my cousin. She’s the closest thing I have to a sibling, we are 4 months and very close. I was devastated to wave them goodbye as they passed through passport control and started the adventure to a new life in Australia. They are also Ava’s guardians.  It was very hard to say goodbye.

While I was crying in the car on the way home, it suddenly dawned on me, I am the only one from my generation left here.  Everyone else is gone. My 2 cousin’s on my mother’s side both live in the UK. I have two nephew’s and a niece there that I barely know. I see them once every few years and obviously because of the distance, we’re no longer close.

Left here in SA was my cousin and my brother and I. Now my cousin is gone and my brother may as well be gone, in fact he is gone, he’s here in SA but he’s gone. I know that must sound cryptic but I don’t want to get into that – another reason why I’ve been so desperately  sad and anxious – here on this blog.

I feel so alone. I live 1400km’s from my parents, in a town where aside from Walter & Ava I have no one I can call family. And now, my cousin who was 1400km’s away is now a 9 hour flight away, a 6 hour time zone difference away.

I am devastated.

Footnote – if any of you have a black sheep of the family and are interested in offering support on my anonymous blog, please email me and I’ll send you the details – I could really use the support but NOT the judgment.

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  • Reply lea2109

    I think we are considered the “black sheep” of the family with most of our family not talking to us anymore. I know it is not the same as what you are experiencing, if you feel you want to pls send me the link of the other blog. I won’t judge, but can listen!

    January 24, 2011 at 9:54 am
  • Reply tzipieastwest

    Oh Sharon, I am sorry for the lonelyness you feel. …
    Not much advise to give because I believe you are already active and sociable to meet people and that you have a few good friends you can trust and rely on.

    But I do wonder if IF is somehow making the feeling worse (perhaps I am projecting my own crap), like a way to have family around, would be to have a big family of your own with many children but becaue IF, also this option feels difficult/impossible/unsure ?
    Have you ever consider moving closer to your parents ?
    Hope you can understand your feelings and find solutions …

    January 24, 2011 at 10:39 am
  • Reply To Love Bella

    Oh our Shazzle! My heart is just ACHING for you!! I have a tight knit family and I really just cannot imagine not being able to see them regularly, so I think that I can only just scratch the surface of what you are going through. I’m so very sorry.
    Sending hugs xxxxx

    January 24, 2011 at 11:17 am
  • Reply suestuart

    I’m so sorry Sharon. In a little way I can relate – my parents, sister and nephew are in the UK and so we seldom see them. None of them met Nathan, and they weren’t here when we were dealing with his loss. I’ve only met my nephew once, when we went over for Christmas.

    Although Craig’s family are here and I do get on well with them, there are issues between the siblings and if it’s not one thing it’s another. We have made a point of involving Craig’s parents in Katy’s life, as they are very restrained and barely know a couple of their grandchildren as neither they nor their son/daughter-in-law will make the first move! How sad.

    Anyway, not exactly the same but I do relate and can empathise, there are times when I so needed to have my mom and it’s just impossible. But we are strong women, you and I, and we do make the best of what we have.


    January 24, 2011 at 11:45 am
  • Reply Nisey

    My brother and I also aren’t that close (also a long story) and my favourite cousin (also 3 months apart) lives in the UK. And let’s not forget that mom and dad are 800km away too!!! It is very very hard being away from family. I feel so blessed with my friends but nothing quite compares to the relationship with our families.

    I wish I could say it gets easier but it really, really hasn’t for me.

    January 24, 2011 at 11:53 am
  • Reply thebsdiaries

    I feel you. Both my siblings left the country – the year my hubby decided to cheat on me in the middle of IF treatment. I no longer speak to my sister – she is a freak – and have had Lots of time spent with my counsellor discussing how to cut out the negative energy in my life. Doesn’t make my mom happy but I am much lighter however she keeps sucking me back in in little subtle ways – the day I had my daughter i spent all morning fighting with her via sms. talk about stealing my thunder. urgh. anyway, i know what it is like to feel isolated and left behind. for a short while i considered following them overseas but i have to make these decisions for me and right now i can’t even decide what to wear in the mornings!

    January 24, 2011 at 12:08 pm
  • Reply rumneym

    Hi Shaz – its a very sad time indeed. My brother lives in Perth and came out for the last few days my dad was alive. It was very sad saying goodbye to him again when he went back to his family.
    Our neighbours have a “blacksheep” son – so I do sort of understand where you are in terms of your brother. Please – if you want my support its here anytime.
    Much love and hugs.

    January 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm
  • Reply trishdg

    I am so sorry you are feeling sad Sharon. That is so sucky and I can understand why you feel that way – close family being far away is hard to cope with.
    My brother and I do not really get along. The last time he visited from Oz we had a screaming match that almost came to blows over his selfish behaviour and we haven’t spoken in a year. I worry that my two children will have a bad sibling relationship like I had/have and I don’t really know how to prevent it.

    January 24, 2011 at 1:19 pm
  • Reply livinglifelarge


    January 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm
  • Reply Mash

    Hi Sharon, although it’s not quite as bad, I’m the only one of my family in the Cape. Everyone is in Jozi. I can’t tell you how hideous it was to come back here after my dad’s death. They had all these family gatherings, where they could comfort each other, and I might as well have been on the other side of the planet. Email and phone calls just don’t cut it. I’ve missed my beautiful nieces growing up. And then when EDH walked out, I really was well and truly alone, except for my friends. But I must be honest (and I can say that here but not on my own blog) that some of my friends have been better to me, than some of my family. I have had the sum total of ONE phonecall from my one sister over the past 5 months. Love her to bits. Understand life is tough with two kiddies. When I see her, we have no issues. But ONE phonecall? After my marriage had just fallen apart? I have a friend who phoned me every day nearly, for the entire five months.

    Today my friend’s mother passed away (different friend). Her father is no longer alive. She has no siblings. Isn’t married, no children. Apart from a few uncles she doesn’t like, she has no living family left. We, her friends, are it. I’m still trying to get my head around that one, it’s too devastating to even contemplate.

    Life as South Africans is tough, we are a very torn nation, with most of us having emigre’s in our family, and it places terrible stress on family structures. My thoughts are with you xxx

    Please feel free to send me the link to your other blog if you want to, I have no black sheep in the family except maybe me (IF with a f**ked up marriage), but maybe I can show some support. Of course please don’t feel obliged!

    January 24, 2011 at 8:02 pm
  • Reply hayley

    Hey Sharon…

    Sending you lots of hugs 🙂

    We lived in CT for two years, while my family was in Joburg, and I cannot tell you how happy I am to be back with them. I totally under-estimated the value of having my family close by. They might annoy me sometimes, but they are family.
    My husband has only his sister left, and they live in NZ. And I can see everyday how it kills him to be missing out on his niece and nephews lives…it actually makes me very angry….because they would move back to SA in a heartbeat if they could, and they have admitted they should never have left SA.

    I have also realised that close friends are just as important, something I also underestimated.

    Hope you are feeling better today!

    January 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm
  • Reply coachmarcia

    So sorry you are sad!

    Is it not possible for you two to move to CT or your mom and dad to move up here (personally I would go there – the sea…. the lifestyle… :)).

    I have a colleague who is VERY close with her family same as you are, but an only child. Her mom and dad moved up here from Dbn once baby 1 was born and she says it’s the best thing ever. She loves having her mother 5 minutes away, esp now baby 2 is also here.

    When you have a moment…
    Wait, you have another private blog? How do you keep up with that one too? And how did you make the decision to start it? I often contemplate it and am still very tempted…

    January 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm
  • Reply pandoragelb

    I only have my Dad in SA, and we have a good relationship, but I am not as close to him as to my mom and sisters. They all live in Europe. I have a niece and nephew I have only met once each, another I have met 3 times. The other two I know a bit more. ButI have no idea how my oldest niece got to be 18 so fast!! Then you realise just how much you have missed out on. My mom has only just now been here to meet my daughter, until we get her paperwork sorted out we can’t travel.
    Also. all my close friends are far away, all over the world. I want my daughter to have extended family around her, but nowadays, that is just so rare, especially in SA, with so many people having left. And if we leave, then my DH will miss out on his family and my daughter on her grandparents. And my dad will be alone. It is not easy, it absolutely sucks. And I just HATE goodbyes, it has taken me a week to stop crying over my mom going back home. It is also so sad that nearly every comment on your post has a similar story.

    January 25, 2011 at 8:48 pm
  • Reply orbit365

    I’m so sorry that you are sad. I cannot begin to imagine how difficult this must be for you.
    Sending you hugs and lots of love.

    January 25, 2011 at 10:00 pm
  • Reply Hanneke C


    January 25, 2011 at 11:50 pm
  • Reply marina1605

    Hi Sharon. I know exactly how you feel. DH and I are alone here in SA. My dad passed away 13 years ago, and soon after that, my mom went back to Italy, her birth country, where she has sisters and loads of cousins and her quality of life is so much better which makes us very happy for her. I have 2 sisters, both of them left to live in the UK more than 10 years ago. They both have children, Claudio’s cousins, who he will never get to know and play with. DH’s family all live in Portugal and he has a big one, being Portuguese and all. More aunties, uncles and cousins that Claudio will never know. This makes us feel very sad…. a lot. Unfortunately, we don’t want to live in the UK, Portugal and/or Italy, so here we are, happy living in SA, but very lonely when it comes to family. On the bright side, we have a lot of friends, some with kids, some without and it’s good, although sometimes, you just need your family around you don’t you? All I can say, is that there are good times, and bad times. The bad times come over special occassions and when family come visit and have to leave again. I recently had this when my sister was here for Christmas and left. I feel sad for a while, but then life goes on and we settle back into our routine. All I can say is thank goodness for Skype! 🙂 Hope you feel better soon xxx

    January 26, 2011 at 9:47 am
  • Reply marina1605

    Hi, re black sheep, my sister in law is one, you can send me the link if you want.

    January 26, 2011 at 9:51 am
  • Reply yvettene

    Im sorry its so hard when your family is so far away I have seen it with T.

    January 30, 2011 at 5:52 pm
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