How do you build back trust, when trust has been broken?
It is the question any estranged grandparent asks themselves if they are lucky enough to be reunited with their grandchildren.
Grandchildren who have been alienated from grandparents, have to find their own ways in coming to terms what has happened, and it won’t happen overnight, it will take time and patience from everyone.
It is possible that you feel as though you are making progress and then its one step forward two steps back.
Any child who has lost, in some cases, many years of a relationship is going to be confused, angry and traumatised.
As a family we have been so lucky that our grandchild made the decision herself to find her way back to us, and I am thankful every single day for that.
We could bemoan the fact of the lost 11 years, but we haven’t.
It is now, that is important.
Going over the past is not healthy and is fraught with many pitfalls.
This weekend was the third visit from our granddaughter, she decided to come down over night to try to avoid the bank holiday traffic, not quite as plain sailing as they had thought, as their were overnight roadworks over the motorway system.
I arranged where to hide the keys and told them to let themselves in.
Of course I lay in bed listening waiting, worried as the time moved on, thinking all sorts of things as you do in the middle of the night.
Then I heard the keys in the lock, and they crept in and upstairs as quietly as they could.
I lay there thinking how unbelievable this was, this time last year we had no idea if she was ok, what she was doing and yet after 11 years, the little girl who last slept in the bed next door of 7 years of age, was once again sleeping there at the age of 18.
In the morning, she and her boyfriend appeared, as though they had always been here.
It impossible for me to write or explain my emotions.
The weekend was spent with all members of the family, we just did what families do.
There seemed to be people in and out of the kitchen making copious cups of tea, children rushing in and out, debates about stuff, agreeing to disagree, just normal family life. Food being prepared, no veg for some, too much sugar for others!
Listening to the family banter, the laughter and the fooling around went on around me, as I constantly thought,
“Is this really happening, will I wake up at some point and find it was all a dream?”
It has without a doubt been a very long road, and no doubt there will be some bumps in the road to come, but I know we can work through those bumps, and just see were the road takes us.
Thank you to all my amazing family, I am so blessed to know you and to be in your lives, I am so proud of you all.
My granddaughters words on social media said it all,
“This weekend has been mint!”