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Not sure what to do...

Started by granny fancy, January 01, 2012, 03:38:40 pm

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granny fancy

  I'm new here, have been reading for a few months & learning much.

A few days before Christmas I received 3 photo Christmas cards &
school photos of my step grand kids there was no note included.
Have had no contact since Oct. '09 when they came for a visit
(lasted 7 hrs.) this has been the pattern since my daughter died
in July '04. They will want to see us, we have what I think is a good visit
& then not hear from them for years.

The last time ( Oct. '09) I had to go on medication for depression as
I couldn't stop crying. I figured some day after they had grown up
they would contact us on their own. Their dad my former sil has
remarried so there are new grandparents in the mix. I get that we
won't get as much time with them they are now teenagers
with all the extra activities they are involved in.

My youngest daughter wouldn't even take one of the Christmas photos,
she said it was cruel of the kids mom to send them.
Told me to hold off on contacting them,
which in the past I would have done right away.
She remembers what happened the last time.

I feel guilty that I haven't replied to the Christmas card...
not even a Thank You.
I know that my oldest daughter (their step mom) would not want me
to hurt these kids in any way yet she also would not want me to be hurting.

Back ground: The marriage was not going well before her death,
she was being emotionally abused by her husband.
All contact with the kids has been through their mom.
I did receive a letter from the mom a few years back saying
that I was not to tell the kids any thing about
my daughters death (suicide) without checking with her first.
That both their dad & me were not telling the truth about
what happened. Long story & very painful.

So do I contact them
or wait until they are older (now almost 16 & 17)?

(my youngest grandson calls me
granny fancy & then laughs)


Welcome Granny Fancy :)

Please read the Forum Agreement and WWU History (both threads located in Open Me First.)  We ask all new members to do so not b/c there is anything wrong with your post.

I'm so sorry for what you're going through.  I would go with my gut, I think the pictures were meant to be an outreach towards you. 

Glad you found us here.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Ah, Granny...

You've all been though so much.  I think I would be inclined to assume that everyone is still hurting and missing your daughter.  If you feel like you would like to contact them, go ahead, but without any anticipation about what you might get in response. 

It's possible that it's not so much that they are treating you badly - but rather they don't have their bearings after this devastating loss.   I can imagine that your g'kids might appreciate a loving gentle soul who knew and loved their mom, once they get older.

granny fancy

Thank you (((Pam1 & Doe))) for the quick replies.

I do want contact with them but my husband &
2 AC think it's unwise at this time. My husband almost
didn't give me the envelope when he saw the
return address knowing what was inside would hurt me.

Not knowing if the grand kids want contact or
if it was their mom who just decided to send
the photos makes me wonder what's up.
There was no note with them.

I'm thinking of writing or calling the mom,
maybe start with email with the grand kids &
leave the visits for later. It just doesn't feel right
to not do anything leaving them to think
I don't care about them when I do.

My daughter was with their dad when they were very young,
about 1 & 2 yrs.old. They are my first grand children,
never ever thought of them as "step" grand kids.

Thanks for being here,
it helps to have someone listen to my ramblings  :)



On the one hand, keeping the peace with DH and other AC; on the other, following your instinct.  I like the idea of approaching the step mom, since she is the gateway.   Maybe you and DH can come up with a time frame so you'll have a certain time in mind to look forward to. 
I think I would rather keep peace with DH and other AC who have your interests at heart and keep a future time with those GK in your heart for now?
No 'right' answer, but you have found a great place to toss your ideas around.  Lots of women here can empathize with what you're going through.


Granny: I can't quite get the relationships straight between biological GK, step GK and your own AC. Can you clarify? Did the daughter who died (I'm so sorry for this, my heart hurts for your family) have these children biologically and is she your oldest daughter? Or was she a step mother to begin with? 

Sorry for my confusion, but as a mother and former step mother, those circumstances play a big part in everyone's lives. 

Good luck to you and I say that all children want love, no matter.  It seems as if you are jumping ahead to visits, when it might be best to just send a card to them with just that...that you think of them with love and love their photos.  Kids love that...if we just take the parents and all that other baggage out of it.  Just be a Granny Fancy and leave the rest.  It seems the key is to not get yourself so involved that it leads to depression.  And stirring up the whole family is never pleasant business. As adults and wise women, we really don't need permission to love our GK.   Personally, I think that calling the mom is more than you need to do.  Send the cards and the mom will know you want peace and will know you aren't saying anything "heavy" regarding the passing of your daughter. Try not to get sidelined into other old grievances which are bound to come up with a visit or a conversation.  Let yourself feel your way slowly. Just some thoughts, not any answers for you. 
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift (Eleanor Roosevelt)


This is my take:  Granny's DD married SIL who had two children from a previous relationship.  DD passed away and now the biological mother is the gateway to the two children.  SIL does not facilitate visits or sends pix, the biological mother does it.

I know, Granny, that she doesn't do it very often but I think it is great news that the bio mom is doing this.  The older the children get the more opportunities they will be able to contact you on their own.  I think just to accept what you can right now and when they are old enough, try to reconnect in that special way again.  IMO, the two children didn't really have much of a say of how much of a relationship with you since SIL seems reluctant to keep the relationship and bio mom is  literally a lot of steps away from you in the familial way.

Big Hugs, I know it's hard and I know what you mean about not recognizing steps/ siblings are filled with steps/half/adopted but we've never referred to ourselves that way. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

granny fancy

pam1 has the relationships right, these are my oldest
daughters step children. Begonia you are correct that
I should not expect too much, a thank you note for the
photos seems the right thing to do for now.

Thanks for your help  :)



Pam & Granny:  Thanks, I have it now.  That was great for the bio-mom to send the photos.  And when you say your DD would only want that nobody is hurting I get that too.  And kids just love that we love them, even if we never hear from them.  Just today I called both my oldest DGD and wished them happy new year.  Of course they didn't answer their phones...but they will remember that I called and told them that I see their photos every day on my bulletin board and I send them love.  I wish my former step daughters (in their 40s) would send me pictures of their kids but there has been no contact there for years...not because there was any hostility but because I divorced their dad and that just ended all communication from their side--even with my DD and DS and they grew up together.  My DD has tried so many times to no avail.   So it's very special that you got the photos and I bet you treasure them a lot.  Best to you and keep posting!
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift (Eleanor Roosevelt)


Granny F, dear heart I am so sorry. I think you have endured the most painful thing imaginable.  People who have been through this kind of pain have paid their dues, and we can only offer love.  My thoughts ran along with Begonia, I understood these were your dd's step children, it was probably a very turbulent and painful early years for those children and although they were too young to grasp everything that was going on, they had to have been scarred.  While the input of your family is very very important, this is your experience and you can rely on your heart to lead you the right way, I myself see no harm in a nice gesture, maybe for Valentines day, or a little thinking of you note to the bio mom.  Stay away from the past, and let it just be warm and caring.  Don't worry about visits right now, perhaps this little contact would be healing for you and help you make some good progress toward more peace and closure.  I think spiritual forces are at work in all things, in all people who reach out for good and peace, and in another day you will not remember the painful things associated with dd, but there will be peace and reconciliation.  I have had fears for so many years now that my ds (who is prone to very bad depressive attacks and miuse of trying to self treat) might take his own life.  Maybe lots of us fear this but are too afraid to say so.  You are among friends here.


As many of you know, my eldest DS died 11 years ago, at age 52, of a sleep apnea induced stroke. We were a long way from a peaceful and relaxed relationship, (I was to blame for every problem and failure that ever came his way)...but we stayed connected and never stopped working on it. I am willing to share losing him and what that was like for me, again, if anyone feels it might help. He was a great dad and grandfather...and very successful, worldwide, in his chosen field. However, his second marriage was the union of two people who loved to sing the "Somebody (their mothers) Done Me Wrong Song" together.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

granny fancy

I just finished writing a short note thanking
her for the photos & wishing her a Happy
New Year. Feels good that I did this & will
mail it tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone for all the "wise"
replies, they really helped.

(((Luise))) I'm so sorry that you have
lost your son. The pain of losing my daughter
is heartbreaking but gets more bearable
as time goes by. Doesn't ever go away just
some days are easier than others.

I would like to hear how you have gone on
after such a painful loss if you feel able to share.

       gentle hugs,


I have a question, Luise, but it's tangential to your main message.

Quote from: luise.volta on January 02, 2012, 01:57:16 pm
However, his second marriage was the union of two people who loved to sing the "Somebody (their mothers) Done Me Wrong Song" together.

You encourage anonymity for those of us who write here, but are so open about this son and his wife.  Wouldn't she know that you write about her here?  Has that created any problems for you?


Outside of our Webmaster, who is my son, Kirk VandenBerghe, no one in my collection of family and friends seems to be particularly interested in my Websites. I think if anyone took any exception to what I write here, I would probably suggest they not contine to read it. ;D Kirk's main interest is technical unless I ask him to discuss content with me. Since my wonderful Moderators stepped up to the plate, that's no longer necessary. We work out whatever glitches come our way.
At my age my parents are dead, so are my siblings and in laws. I am way beyond any  developing family dynamics and any repercussions that might come from speaking about them here. I am careful not to write about my current husband's family or what my grandchildren and great grandchildren are up to, except in generalities. Most of my references and stories are historical.

There are currently 67,100 references to me and my work is anyone puts "Luise Volta" into a Google search. There are newspaper articles, biographies and information about the awards I have won. I guess I am just too visible to worry about it.  8)

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Quote from: luise.volta on January 02, 2012, 06:06:36 pm
I think if anyone took any exception to what I write here, I would probably suggest they not contine to read it. ;D

Understood!  Oh, geez, I'm still laughing about this line...  Good thing I wasn't drinking anything when I read it!  I just got a glimpse of the sense of freedom you must have.