This was the last time my once close family were all together in one place. It was 2010 for my dad's 60th. All but one of the 4 brothers missed my dad's 70th, my mom's 60th and 70th and I missed all my brothers' 40th birthdays. That is the cost of the expat life.
No one passed away since then by God's grace but these days it feels like every day apart is a day wasted. When we could've been together. A day we won't get back when the inevitable happens. I will say it as it is. It is shit.
And it is the reality of many many South Africans but to be truthful it is the reality of most of the developing world these days. When people leave their native land in search of a better life and some stay behind. It takes away relationships between grandchildren and grandparents, parents and children, brothers and sisters and in lots of cases husbands and wives.
My prayer is to have another like this.