I have been unable to blog for a while due to too many other things taking up my blogging time (like work) but I have tried to keep up and read the blogs I follow, but I am sure I have missed a few.
Other things that have taken up my time are organising a 65th birthday/retirement celebration for OH, booking a 4 night cruise for the week after he retires to get him in the spirit of being retired, attending a 60th birthday/retirement celebration of a good friend, supervising the cutting down of neighbour’s trees that were blocking out all light and sun in our garden (with their permission, of course), taking Milo for his rabies shot, going to the theatre to see Caberet, and the normal day-to-day stuff of running a home.
We did the neighbour’s trees on Sunday morning beginning just after they left for church. It was a massive job and could not have been undertaken without our trusty gardener who managed to remove all the cutting to our side of the wall before they returned. Had they seen how much we had cut they would probably have had a heart attack. This was years and years of neglect on their side (they are elderly and not really interested in gardening) and the gardener they employ is more of a charity case than a gardener. We were very careful to cut so that there is no disfigurement on their side but plenty of light and sun now coming through to our garden. I noticed yesterday that our potato bush that had just been bare stems on their side is already pushing out green shoots – isn’t nature wonderful! The gardener is coming back on Saturday to tackle our pussy willow and one of the neighbour’s trees at the back and to plant some grass plugs where the lawn was taken over by shade loving weeds.
My airplants are in full bloom and looking stunning – here is a small selection:
OH is still in quite a lot of pain and can’t really walk for very long without his feet swelling up and becoming very uncomfortable but every day there is a little improvement.
This coming Sunday our daughter from whom we have been estranged for nearly four years is visiting with her baby and partner. She has agreed to come for a braai which means she is not planning to be just in and out. We are so looking forward to meeting our granddaughter for the first time and hoping and praying that this visit represents a change of heart on her side. From our side we will welcome them as if nothing has happened and when I see that she has relaxed I will ask her if she will remain in contact and allow us to be part of our granddaughter’s life.
What I have learnt over this four year period is that I am stronger than I thought, the thing that I believed I could not survive I survived. Life did eventually become worth living again and this strength has helped me to forgive her and will help me if Sunday does not go well.
On Saturday morning I woke up and did what I usually do, check my phone for messages and emails that come in overnight and right away my equilibrium spiralled into a tailspin of note.
There was an email from my daughter announcing that she and her partner and baby would be visiting SA next month and if we still wished to meet our granddaughter she would arrange a visit.
Those bloggers who have followed my blog will know that our family has been torn apart since 2009 when my daughter cut all communication with us. In 2010 she visited for her brother’s wedding but after that appeared to cut her brother out as well. I was unable to try and get a reason from her then as I did not want to do anything that could upset our son’s wedding and even though I invited her and her partner to visit us for a braai she never bothered to respond. When we got word last year that she was pregnant our heartache doubled. In March this year I travelled to the UK to track her down and meet my granddaughter but when I finally located her through the help of a community police officer she refused to see me and accused us, her brother included of harassing her. She has not acknowledged a birthday or Christmas since 2009 and even her brother’s recent birthday went unacknowledged.
We angst all weekend on how to respond to this bolt from the blue and eventually decided to respond warmly saying that we were looking forward to seeing them and meeting our granddaughter. The plan is then to tackle her face to face about where to from here. Is this a once-off or will we be allowed to be part of our granddaughter’s life and have a relationship with her in the future. At least that way if it ends badly we will finally know where we stand. To date she has refused to provide us with an explanation for her stance and has avoided any possibility of a face-to-face meeting. I am not going to let this opportunity pass without trying to clear the air once and for all.
To complicate matters further she has remained in contact with my BIL and SIL. They chose not to tell us about it until the baby was about to be born and were actively avoiding us since our son’s wedding although we could not figure out what was up. We no longer trust them at all and a subsequent altercation between OH and the SIL who was way out of line lead to an extremely unpleasant email from BIL resulting in us not being comfortable enough to attend our nephew’s wedding in March. There has been no contact since then. It would not surprise us at all if our daughter will be staying with them and SIL tries to play the peacemaker and host a family lunch to which we most definitely would not go. If there is going to be a reconciliation it will be on our turf.
When I returned from the UK in March I had resigned myself to never seeing my daughter again and never getting to know my granddaughter. I don’t know what has changed between now and March that she is prepared to see us now but I am not going to give her the opportunity to play games as she did in 2010. Some straight answers are required now and if she does not want a relationship with us going forward so be it. I am stronger now than I was in 2009/2010 and my visit to the UK this year proved to me that I can endure the worst heartache and survive if need be.