Call me Mira. I have three adorable grandchildren. They live less than 100 miles away. I love them with all my heart.
And I don’t get to see them.
I don’t get to see pictures, or hear about their progress. There’s just a huge, endless, sucking blankness in my life where my treasured grandchildren should be. I cry most days, grieving the precious moments that will never come again, and which I’m being denied even fleeting involvement in. The moments I dreamed of from the time their father became a “big boy” so many years ago, and I put away the baby things. I cry, wondering if they know it’s not their fault, that grandma loves them and wants so much to be with them. Wondering if they’ll ever know that she thought of them every time she saw something wonderful or strange or funny, wishing she could share it with them.
I’m not even sure why. Their mother is angry with me over something she thought I said, they tell me, yet I don’t think that’s the entire story. It’s been going on far longer than that. I truly struggle to understand why a parent would separate their children from anyone who loves them, if that person isn’t harmful to the child. Don’t they deserve to have as many people to love them as possible? Do they have too many grandparents already? Do I just not measure up?
I tell myself not to cry. I tell myself, no one has died, no one has a serious illness, they’re happy and well and that’s what really counts. And that’s true. I’m grateful they’re well and strong and bright. I just miss them so much. I had so very many dreams for this time.
We have a boy, nearly five: I’ll call him Max, for Where the Wild Things Are. His sister Madeleine is four. And little Sabrina is just a few months old. I’ve seen her just once, when she was two months old. These are my only grandchildren, and likely to remain that way.
The BandAid Heart is the voice of my grief, a grief becoming all too common to grandparents across the country. It’s my love letters to my grandchildren, in the hope that they’ll read them someday and know that grandma didn’t abandon them. It’s where I can share with them the things I love, so my story can still enrich their lives and provide the continuity that grandparents are meant to provide, eventually. And it’s a voice of support for other grandparents separated from the children they love. What it’s not about is changing anybody or embarrassing anybody, which is why I blog anonymously.
Welcome to my heart. (Just beware, parts of it are probably sticky.)