My sister and her husband head back to England today. The older I get the harder it is to have my family members so far away. I am fortunate that my brother is moving closer. He and his wife will be less than an hours drive from us and they have a weekend place that is only ten minutes from the village. (Still have the Alberta habit of refering to distance in time rather than kilometers/miles).
My son and his wife live at the far southerly part of Ontario but, at least, we are in the same province. My two steps sons and two grandchildren are in Alberta.
The rest of my immediate family are all in England.
Ships and planes have made visiting far flung family members easier but they have also made immigration easier. There are probably few people who don't have a child living in another country or, in the case of Canada, another Province. Email, twitter and other networks make it easier to keep in touch. Telephones, however, will allow us to hear the other person's voice. When my mother was alive, it was so wonderful to be able to talk to her on the phone. Even though her loss of hearing eventually made conversation difficult, I still felt connected (if you will forgive the unintended pun). She never heard her mother's voice again when she and I moved to Canada from England.
I have great hopes that more of my family will, one day, live closer but, until that happens, I am eternally grateful that we live in a time when we are still able to keep in touch.
All this talk of family makes me think of those who have sons, daughters, brothers, sisters etc who are soldiers. Whether you agree with the war or not, these men and women are doing a job which could result in loss of life. Keep all our troops in your prayers.