Whether you celebrate Easter or not, it is a time of year of new beginnings and a time for looking forward.
In the past Easter has always been a difficult time for us.
It would have been 12 years this Easter since we had any contact with our granddaughter, until last year, when she made the decision to seek us out.
Thinking of that last time we saw her, was full of mixed emotions, sadness of course but also such joyous memories.
If I close my eyes I can still see and hear her at 7 years old, rushing around our back garden, squealing with delight as she followed the trail of the Easter Bunny, her giggles and smile are with me everyday, they always were and still are. A little girl just doing what little children should do.
Little did we know that would be the last time we would see her for a very long and heartbreaking 11 years.
Every Easter those giggles and squeals still hanging over our garden, but it was so empty.
Last year was the time for the new beginning.
The beginning of forming a brand new relationship for us all, our granddaughters’ family had expanded somewhat since she last saw us, she had cousins she didn’t know she had, and a new half sister and her Dad had a new wife.
It was up to us to build trust, to prove to her that we would never let her down, that we are all here for her.
A year on and we continue to build.
Over the last year we have had many grandchildren reunited with grandparents, and it is such a privilege to witness these events.
Everyone who is going through estrangement thinks it will not happen to them, but the reality is we never know, which is why we must never give up hope.
Here is a poem I wrote for our granddaughter in 2017:
The blossom, the birds and the sun
That time of year of promise
10 years ago you hunted for eggs from the Easter Bunny
Tiny signs showing you the way
Giggles as the chocolate treasure was found
Watching you from the window
Sheer delight and joy.
That photo of you with your sweet prizes
Etched in my memory for ever
Seems like yesterday
Not 10 years of separation
A little girl full of fun and laughter
Full of important things to say
Now a young woman, who I don’t know
Easter a time for reflection
A time for looking forward
Life goes on, the world is still turning
A life that I know is a better place
For having you in this world.
I can close my eyes and remember
A privilege to have known you
To have had you in my life
It may have been for a short time
But because of you
Grandparents are no longer alone.
Whatever you are up to this Easter
Remember you are not forgotten
You are ever present with all your family here.
A daughter, a granddaughter, a niece a sister, a cousin.
Always loved and always missed.
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I hope your Easter is blessed and that you can all find peace.