There is no cure for this heartsick feeling. There is no prevention for the tears that always fall when I have to say goodbye. It never hits me right away. I can get through hugs, and goodbyes at the curb. I can put my focus on checking in and boarding passes, on security lines and finding my gate. But eventually, there I am. Left with myself and a black airport chair, and tears in my eyes.

I expect it. Oh, I'll probably cry at the airport, I told my friend last night. It's always hard. With the added stress of the life I'm living right now, it doesn't take a lot to make me emotional anyway, so it's pretty much a guarantee today.

This time it hits me first in line for the bathroom. I feel it behind my eyes and nose, hot and liquid, and my eyes are filling. I miss them. Acutely. It has been over two years since I saw my stepmom and seeing my sister three times in four years just isn't enough. She's amazing. 15 years old, and gorgeous, but more grounded than I thought was possible a few years ago. She is beautiful, and funny, and I love her so much that I can't stand it. When I see her sometimes it's almost as if no time has passed. Except she's choosing classes like Advanced HTML and College and Career Options, and going to sweet sixteen parties, and she has a boyfriend now. Stuffed animals replaced with One Direction posters, a vanity with makeup that she knows how to use better than I do.

There's a whole country between us. Thousands of miles, and plane tickets that almost always cost much more than any of us have. These are the days of extended family spread so far apart that our hearts are scattered. When I get to see them but then I have to go home, and I feel my heart breaking all over again, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

And it's not just the people. It's not just my sister, my stepmom, my Dad, and my cousin. It's also this place. I love it here. This house in this small town that I thought was much too small when I first saw it. Now it is comfortable, it is my home, there is nothing foreign about it, even when it's been over three years since I last stepped inside. And the city, Philadelphia, I don't know what it is but there's a piece of my heart that just belongs here.

So bittersweet. This week was amazing, and something I really needed. A chance to get away, to do grown up things, to fill my heart with love and family. It will be good to see my boys, to get hugs and kisses and fill their hearts with Mommy love again. I just wish it didn't have to be one or the other.