The longest…and hardest goodbye

19 February , 2020

So, I’ve been quiet since my holiday post. I had lots to process, and to be honest I didn’t really feel like talking about it.

It has been fucking hard!

My brother and his peeps had their visas approved, and over the course of two weeks they left for New Zealand. Karen went first, her visa was approved first and she had to more or less get off the plane and hit the ground running. Riaan and Reghardt followed two weeks later, which all things considered was probably the best way to travel for them as Riaan really knows how to keep that little man calm.

Many things happened over the course of the two weeks they stayed here with us (Andy helped them clear out and sell the contents of the house). It was the best of times and the worst of times all rolled into one.

Let me show you in photos, because…you know…that’s my thing.


Sjoe! This was hard to watch. I take my hat off to Karen. I don’t think I have it in me to walk through those gates without my family and not look back so that they don’t see me cry. We tried to keep dry eyes for Reghardt and focus on the adventure part of this, but we were not very successful.


This…so heart breaking…my brother gently explained to him that they had to be brave for mommy, because she was all alone and at least they had each other.


We couldn’t actually see her plane, but we looked at plains for Reghardt anyway.


Riaan got him a count down calendar for when he’ll see mommy again, and this was the highlight of his day to count down sleeps to go. Not a single tantrum out of him about it in two weeks. He really was so very brave!


Helping my brother catalogue his container. Haha, the ugly duckling ornament I gave them as a wedding present made the cut! It was a gag gift, and they kept it anyway…aaaawe.


Second round of friend farewells with my brother. This one you could see really got to him, it because very very real at this point. On the way home he was quietly sobbing in the back of the car. I handed him a roll of TP and let him have his moment.

Some things really get you in the feels.

At the first friend farewell I more or less drowned myself and decided to document my journey one glass at a time.


D-day, fly day, the long awaited going to mommy day! Started off with smiles from the two cuzzies.


Some stretching before the loooooong sit.


We weren’t allowed to nap on the couch. Nuh-uh! Reghardt would be on his way to the airport by 10:00 if he had his way. They actually only left at 20:00-ish. “Jy kan nie nou slaap nie Tessa, ons moet lughawe toe gaan!”


Excitement in the air. These two were obviously very excited to be reunited with Karen.


Some of us were not as excited as others. My mom asked me if we should wear shades to the airport to hide our tears. I said no fucking way, I am going to wail as if my life depends on it. I am sad to see them go, and I don’t care who sees it.

There is a time to be sad, and this was definitely it. (I know, I’m very mature some times haha).


There is also time for a laugh. As I told Riaan, it is going to be awesome, you just need to get through this sucky bit first.

We can still laugh. Even when we’re sad as hell.


Reghardt walking with Oupa and Ouma.


Luggage checked in, ready to rumble.


This must be the longest bloody walk to see from the outside. Excruciating.

We were a bloody hot mess by this time. Everyone sobbing. Reghardt looking a bit confused. This is not what he had been counting down to. He kept asking why we’re all crying so we had to pull ourselves together somewhat for him.

Of course, him being the clown that he is, he managed to lighten the mood his own way. We were pulling faces at each other all the way to the checkpoint, and little social butterfly that he is, by the time he passed through there he was exchanging secret handshakes with the official. This little dude will be just fine…


Loss has a way of either bringing people together or driving them apart. It remains to be seen how this is going to play out.

This is not a classic loss, I get it, but sjoe! It feels like it at times. We just went from a seeing everyone twice a week family to we’ll maybe see you in 3 to 5 years again family. It’s a bloody massive loss.


Waiting to board. We didn’t get many messages once they were in the air, but apparently Reghardt tried to chat with a few fellow passengers (in Afrikaans), however everyone around them were French, so no luck.

He then plan B-ed it by watching non stop movies for about 24 of the 28 hours they were travelling, one 2 hour nap. Hardcore little dude!


Reunited! 🙂


Major jet lag and catching up on a loooot of sleep, haha!


First walk in the new great outdoors for Reghardt.

I hope and trust that they will soon settle in and that they will be very happy in their new country.

We miss them like crazy, and we’ll be going through this again from the other perspective again in a few short months.

Rough. Rough. Rough.


  1. Such bitter sweet moments!!! I remember this when my sister went back home I cried and cried and my hubby was like why?? We went from seeing every week to seeing whenever. I haven’t seen her in close to 5 years 😦

    Wishing them a wonderful stay and many many new memories

    • Thank you Funso…see, you get it.

      We’re scheduled for our first video call tomorrow. We’re going to do it weekly, but the 11 hour time difference is challenging!

    • Thank goodness for Wifi!

  2. It’s very challenging with a time difference but technology makes it so easy.

    So happy they are reunited.

    Do you mean you guys (last sentence)? when are you thinking and can you post on updated plans yet?

    • Yes, I mean us. We’re waiting for 2 documents before we can move to the next stage. We’re hoping that we’ll still get them this month. Then we should be able to go by end May. But we can’t nail anything down because Home Affairs is notoriously inefficient, so we’ve kind of pegged it for somewhere between June and September.

  3. Big hugs, it sucks, that’s all.

    • Thanks Natasha…we’ll get through it.

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