Well, yesterday was such an emotional day.
The day started with going to the BBC Bristol studio to be on Victoria Derbyshire’s programme ahead of the debate held in Westminster Hall yesterday afternoon.
I was joined in the morning by another grandparent, whom I have known for some time now, and I consider to be a close friend,it was the first time she had done anything like it, and she was brilliant. Grandparents are so soften reticent to put their heads above the parapet so I know what it took out of her to appear on TV. A huge thanks goes out to Miriam.
Sadly as is always the case when you take part in this, you are on the receiving end of the ‘trolls’ and it wasn’t long before they appeared above their rickety bridge, for me I am so used to being abused online I never read the comments. These people don’t know you and do not know your own experience, now if they would like to have a discussion face to face that would be interesting, so I am sorry that Miriam was also on the receiving end of such bile.
We moved then onto the afternoon debate instigated by Dame Esther Rantzen and Nigel Huddleston MP.
To say I found it emotional doesn’t actually sum up how I really felt.
The MPs spoke with such compassion and empathy and again Nigel read out emails from the grandchildren themselves, so, so moving and so powerful. Their own voices heard at the highest level of government, thanks to Darren Jones our local MP, who also spoke with such feeling. The entire UK was represented.
All of us at Bristol Grandparents Support Group would like to thank everyone who has given their support, who has set up their own groups all around the country, and to all the grandchildren who have been in touch, this is all about them, not us but them the future of our country.
We will continue to let their voices be heard.
Some were a little disappointed that the Minister didn’t actually promise anything, but rest assured we and the MPs will keep the pressure on, as Nigel said in the debate himself, this is just the beginning.
On a personal note, you will also have heard that after 11 years of silence our granddaughter has herself got in contact with her Dad, and with us, this Sunday we are meeting her for the first time in those 11 years, as it was 11 years this Easter, we last saw her.
It is going to be an emotional time for us all, but I hope the hug I will give her speaks a thousand words.
Before I went on Victoria Derbyshire I asked my granddaughter if it was ok. She said it was fine, and that it was her who had inspired me to set up BGSG and that we had to go on doing what we have been doing.
To have her blessing and endorsement, well, actually I don’t have those words.
BGSG was set up in her name, she was always what pushed me to speak to people I thought I would never speak to, to do interviews on the Radio, TV and Newspapers, it was her who gave me the courage to keep pushing those who can make a difference.
I hope everyone who reads my blogs and follows what we are doing really will listen now, when I say never, ever give up hope. Your grandchildren have not forgotten you, have not stopped loving you, you are there in their hearts every single day.
For the adults who put their children through this anguish, please stop, think what you are doing to the children, you may have issues yourself with a parent or in law, but your children don’t. In years to come the children will make their decisions and you might well lose them. Is that a price you want to pay?
There are never many ‘winners’ in this scenario, just grief.
A new day has dawned, but the fight will continue, with the grandchildren by our sides it is a force to reckon with.