My Mum's father died before I was born and her mother died when I was eight - I never really knew either of them.
My Dad's parents have been the only grandparents I have ever known.
They live in Scotland, but this had never stopped them from being a major influence in my life. I adored my Granny & Papa and would spend all of the school holidays with them. When I passed my driving test I would collect them from the train station, when travelling by train became too much for them I would happily drive up to Scotland to collect them and take them home again. I would have done anything for them.
When I left my first husband I spent a few weeks with them, licking my wounds. They never pried, they never judged. I was so proud and believed that I was so lucky to have them as grandparents.
Eight years ago they celebrated their Golden wedding anniversary. My whole family were invited to the celebration. Mr M and I were invited, but the boys were not.
My parents and sisters have always treated the boys like all of the other children in our family, there has never been any differentiation between them and my nieces/nephews.
I didn't go to the party and it was the start of the end of my relationship with the only grandparents I have ever known.
Over the next few years, my grandparents would send Mr M & I birthday and Christmas gift, yet they refused to even acknowledge the boys on the christmas cards. Each year I would send them a thank you card telling them what I had spent the money or gift voucher on - I always made a point of spending it on a family item or day trip etc - and telling them how much we had all enjoyed it.
The final straw was in 2004, we were all at my parents' home for Easter. My Granny had bought each of my nieces and nephews an easter egg and handed them out after lunch - my boys got nothing & I was heart broken. They were 5 & 7 at the time and didn't understand why they didn't get an egg and their 'cousins' did.
I tried to talk to my grandparents to explain how hurt I was by their actions. I tried to explain that the boys had had no control over their parents splitting up and their dad meeting me. It all fell on deaf ears, they replied by saying that the boys had their own grandparents, therefore they would not take on that role. We ended the conversation with me saying that Mr M and the boys were my family and my priority, they ended by telling me I had made my choice.
They refused any further contact from me.
When Mr M and I Married in August 2004, my father pleaded with me to build bridges with them. I sent them some wedding photos and spoke to my granny on the phone.
My Dad promised that things would be different now that Mr M & I were married. At Christmas he & I got gifts, the boys didn't even get their names on the Christmas card! The following March I discovered I was pregnant with Lola & realised if I didn't get things sorted I would have a divide with the boys and her.
Without telling them I was pregnant, I wrote to my Grandparents and asked them to re-think the situation. I wasn't asking them to rush out and spend money on the boys, I was just asking them to accept them. They point blankly refused & we have had no contact since.
They have never seen the Lola or Dora and I'm not sure if they even know I have had them.
I have been excluded from all family occassions - cousin's weddings, christenings etc. I don't feel that I have done anything wrong (please tell me if I have) & always felt wrongly rejected, yet I never once thought ill of either of them.
I thought I had come to terms with the situation, yes my heart was broken, but I always believed they would come round and embrace my whole family.
Driving home from work last night around 10pm, I saluted a lone magpie, a strange 'mist' hovered just above the passenger seat in the car & I was convinced my heater was blowing out smoke (yet there was no smell).
Last night I had a most vivid dream - My Granny came to my home, she told me she had missed me and wanted us to make up. She then asked me to take photographs of my home as my papa would never get to see it & he would have been so proud of me.
My Papa collapsed last night around 10pm and died in the early hours of this morning -on my birthday.
I feel so numb.
10 months ago