When I was listening to Bernie, from the Devon group, he told the interviewer that, ‘the light had gone out in his wife’s eyes,’ and what an appropriate statement that is.
It is true that when you a grandparent you do have a special sparkle in your eyes, you only have to think about them and there it is.
Grandchildren are a continuum,they hold the future in their hands,watching them fledge like small birds is truly wonderful,at least thats how it should be.
Some of us have had the privilege to experience just a small part of that, the beginning of them spreading their wings, others have never met their grandchildren so can only imagine.
Over the last few days you will have heard some very sad stories and listened to voices breaking as estranged grandparents try to explain the hurt and pain and destruction this has brought, not only to them but to the whole family. The sorts of stories that I hear on a daily basis,these are real people who are trying to come to terms with what is happening.
This is not about grandparents having rights over parents, it is about children, children who do have a right in having a loving and caring relationship with their wider family.
As I have said so many times, children are on loan to us, no-one owns them, they are all individual people with their own thoughts,people who should be free to make choices.
Somehow we need to find our own ways of rekindling that light in our eyes, our grandchildren remember us with that sparkle, it is still there, it just needs a bit of a spruce up.
I do know that I have seen that light stutter and gradually glint again, but we need support to get to that place, those grandparents who have befriended others are helping to do just that.
The simple act of connecting with one another is a very powerful thing.