HORSHAM'S Kira Austin was given a glimmer of hope last week.
Victoria and South Australia had finally come to an agreement to let the border reopen on December 1, allowing Ms Austin to travel interstate and see her fiance.
Her partner was living in South Australia, and the duo had not seen each other since March 22.
However, the jubilation Ms Austin felt was short-lived.
A COVID outbreak in South Australia had gained momentum, and the border once again slammed shut.
Ms Austin said "she couldn't stop crying" when the news came through.
"The emotion is just unbelievable. I don't think I have any more tears," she said.
"It was very heartbreaking - it broke my son's heart too. It's been one big rollercoaster.
"I was just holding out hope to see him again and hold him again. To later find out that it probably wasn't going to happen, it broke my heart."
Ms Austin said on Friday, as South Australia announced it would prematurely end its six-day lockdown, she was hopeful a border agreement could soon be reached.
"I never thought this would be an issue," she said.
"I never thought a pandemic would stop me from seeing him.
"We try to text and call in between work, but we've had our ups and downs.
"I really hope I get to see him again - and hopefully 2021 is a better year."
Apsley grandmother Di Thorpe said it's been a "long, hard and emotional" journey the past 12 months.
Living in Apsley for over 11 years, Ms Thorpe left behind her family and grandchildren in South Australia, and was settled on her "slice of heaven" - until 2020.
Ms Thorpe has battled through the emotional pain of losing her mother, then not being there to support her children or have the ability to grieve herself when the property needed to be sorted and the house had to be sold.
"Unfortunately when the borders open I will also miss getting to go back to my mother's house to say goodbye as the settlement is four days before the border is open," she said.
"I just keep thinking, imagine if mum had fallen ill and passed away this year. It would have been so different.
"Trying to deal with solicitors, probate and emotions has been tough to try and do it electronically.
"I've had to leave some of the stuff, like cleaning out the house and putting it on the market, to my children because I've been unable to get into South Australia."
Ms Thorpe said she has missed birthdays and special occasions and even saying farewell to her son who is in the airforce and had to go overseas.
"I am a hugger," she said.
"I'm not there to give anyone a hug. It's tough and although technology is fantastic it's not the same as jumping in the car and driving the few hours to go and see my family."
Ms Thorpe talked openly and honestly about her decision in March to seek help and guidance after she felt she wasn't coping with the situation.
"I was losing the plot and knew I needed help," she said.
"I know I was in a bad way. I'm doing okay now so I'm happy to share what I went through.
"It was really tough. My poor kids were separated from me and were trying to be encouraging but I knew I needed more help.
"The day I decided to do it, I rang the health service and said I just need to talk to someone right now.
"It took a while but it has given me a sense of empowerment that I can pull myself out of a rut."
Ms Thorpe said despite everything she has gone through the past 18 months, she has decided to put her property on the market.
"I will return to South Australia when the time is right," she said.
"It's time for this Mum and Nan to make some memories and not let a border closure get in the way of that."
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