People say the world is a small place. You can fly anywhere, you can talk to any one at any time, via twitter, emails, facebook and skype and even the old fashioned pen to paper letter writing.
But it's not the same, you can't cuddle a new born niece, give your kids or parents a hug or 'be there' when people are ill.
We had a plan for emergencies. We also argued and rowed over what was an emergency. Who do we fly back for? When? How much?
It was agreed that parents and children were a priority, but what constituted an emergency. Routine operation? No. Complications? Maybe and who?
Last week my sister rang my mobile. It could only be bad news. I have various Uncles and Aunts with serious illnesses, my mum is 68 the youngest of 8, my father is 72, the eldest of 3. His middle brother died last year. Yes I went to the funeral, but it coincided with my UK visit, but in all honesty I wouldn't have flown back for the funeral.
So my first thought was it was my Dad's cousin, he had a stroke last week. Or my Uncle who's had heart bypass or my mums friend with cancer. But no, it was my Dad, he'd had a heart attack over the weekend and they were waiting for test results before worrying me. He was in hospital and I was told he was going to be fine.
It was too late Monday night to fly out, it takes me 24hrs door to door. So Tuesday was spent by the phone, would he survive? Would he be ok? Did I need to fly home? Should I go tonight or tomorrow?
I spoke with my Mother in Law, she said 'do what you feel you need to do' Hubby agreed and the flight was booked for Wednesday night, arriving in the UK Thursday lunch time, a few frantic text and facebook messages to arrange for me to be collected from Birmingham Airport and driven to Cardiff.
I'm due to fly home tomorrow. My father will be fine with his new medication, diet and exercise routine.
Did I need to fly home? No, not really in the sense of it being a life threatening situation. But in the sense of my personal needs and that of my immediate family, Yes I did need to be there. To see them when they are all well and alive. I don't want to be flying back for a funeral having not seen any of them for a year.