What do the kids think?

Hi All,

Today someone in my life asked me about my grandson and his dad, and it got me thinking about things in relation to the children caught in the middle of estrangement issues. It’s not any place any parent or grandparent that has been thrown away would ever want their beloved family members to be, but what do the kids think? It’s kind of set me back some, wondering if the children being denied the love of those of us that have so much to give feel abandoned by us. I know our daughter has told our grandson lies when it comes to why we moved, but the whys of the move don’t matter to the 12 year old boy that must feel like we left him. It breaks my heart to think that our grandson and step-granddaughter might think we abandoned them when they are being kept from us by someone else. We love them, we miss them and we didn’t move after the estrangement because of them. We moved because we needed to be where we were accepted as parents and grandparents. Had we only had the oldest child and she threw us away as she has, we still know we would have moved, just not to SC. Northeastern Florida would have been our destination.

I can’t help but try and put myself into the shoes of the children that have become victims of their parent(s) actions. It makes me so sad to look back and remember the feelings of abandonment I felt when my parents separated and then divorced all those years ago. I know now and have for decades that I didn’t cause the demise of my parents marriage, but when you’re 8 years old, you think it’s all your fault. So does that mean when you’re 12 and 6 and your grandparents move away, you’re to blame? I can say over and over and over again that we moved because of the pain involved in the every day living without them, but they can’t really put that into context for themselves. Or can they? The bonds of love between us were and are deep, strong and true, so I have to believe that they know we didn’t abandon them like I believe they are being told we did. When someone so callously decides that their parents aren’t valuable anymore, are those parents supposed to shrivel up and die? Or do they forge ahead while battling great sadness and try to figure out how to grieve the living? Grief is the number one reason we moved, and while the grief we feel over such loss hasn’t lessened much, it’s lessened more than it could have had we stayed where we weren’t wanted.

It is my sincerest wish that I have a chance to someday reconcile with my grandchildren and tell them face to face how very sorry I am for the pain I know we caused them when we moved. I hope to someday find the words to tell them that all we ever wanted was to see them, but that we weren’t allowed because someone else decided we just weren’t good enough. We know better. We know that we’re not perfect, but we love our family. Love is messy, but so beautiful at the same time. The love story between us and our alienated grandchildren isn’t done being written yet, and the person who stole the pen last year will someday come to realize this. And if she doesn’t I don’t think it will matter all that much. You can learn a lot about someone when you’re cut loose by them, and it’s only through grace and forgiveness that you can move forward.

I am having great difficulty right now trying to get the words that are in my heart transferred onto the page, and I can’t figure out why. I think I’ll end here for tonight and hope for a better flow come tomorrow night. Please remember to be kind to yourself and others, the world needs this so much. Goodnight.

Serenity sought and found at Newport Harbor
Newport, RI
Photo by Barb Enos

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