Here is Our Story,
just some of our thoughts.
I can vividly remember the day my son rang me at work to tell me his little girl, my Granddaughter, had been born, he was overcome with emotion and wonder and I cried!
At first our granddaughter made regular visits but they became less and less and communication finally broke down all together.
A grandparent , in the same situation as ourselves, who I know ,answered her door and there was a handsome young man standing there, he said, ‘Hi Gran, I have missed you.’ So we are waiting for that knock on the door.
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It is difficult to explain in words what happened to me that day. What an enormous responsibility to be a grandparent, what delight and fun we would have together.
Goodness, did that mean I would have to start behaving in a different way, and be more sensible? No I didn’t think that would be necessary! My son and his wife lived in the North and we were in the South, so not a quick trip to see this very special little girl, but we packed the car with lots of spoils for her and set off.
When we arrived and I first set eyes on this beautiful bundle of innocence I was captivated, holding her in my arms was the proudest moment of my life, the future looking up at me, full of expectation.
The future was not as I had imagined at all...
My son and daughter-in-law had been married for a couple of years when the cracks began to show. During this time my granddaughter came down to Bristol for visits, where we had the most wonderful times, doing all the things that she loved to do, mostly messy stuff, involving paint, glue and sparkly bits, most of which seemed to be on the floor! I would be still cleaning bits up months later. I was determined to give her the most precious thing I had to give: my time.
I was in no hurry to do anything whilst she was with us, boring things like cleaning and ironing could be done later. I recall one Easter in particular, I had made signs with a picture of the Easter bunny on and Marc and I put them all over the garden, with directions on how to find the Easter eggs. She was shrieking with delight in the garden, carefully following her instructions. Finally she was found in our summer house at the bottom of the garden, trying to make that difficult decision as to which one to eat first.
It became clear that my son and daughter-in-law were going to separate. My son decided to move into a small flat, not far from their house so that he could keep in contact with his daughter, he was miserable and very lonely, and phoned us regularly in a distressed state, things were just becoming intolerable for him. He made the heartbreaking decision to come back down to Bristol.
At first our granddaughter made regular visits but they became less frequent and communication finally broke down all together.
The last time we saw her was in 2007, and when we asked her whether she liked her birthday and Christmas presents she didn't know what we were talking about. When we described what they were she had been told they were from someone else. The letters I wrote either were returned or she just wasn’t given them.
She said that she had been told to dump her family in Bristol. My son has had no contact with her either, no phone calls, emails, nothing, despite solicitors' letters requesting contact. His ex-wife has now remarried and had another child.
It is impossible for me to describe how it feels to have lost my precious little girl, she will be 11 in June, 2011 and there is not a single day that goes by that I don’t wonder what she is doing and is she safe and happy? There is a knot in my stomach that just never goes away. It is the same feeling when you loose someone close to you. A living bereavement. Time is ticking away, when my son heard from his ex-wife's solicitor....imagine what that is doing to him, and to us?
If he continues his fight, and it is just that, it will be court cases, anxiety for his daughter and it is his daughter that is the most important person in all of this, she needs to be able to live her life without all of this stress and worry. We all just hang on to the thought that we will be here for her when she wants us, when she is older perhaps she will want to know about her family in Bristol.
A grandparent I know, in the same situation as ourselves, answered her door and there was a handsome young man standing there. He said: 'Hi Gran, I have missed you.'