In 2003, I started hearing from my oldest son's ex-wife, who lived in Iowa, along with my 2 granddaughters, ages 6 and 8, then. She was telling me of her plans to move to AZ, where she was raised by her grandmother in Tucson. It really excited me because I'd be in close contact with my 2 granddaughters, as they planning on buying a house about 5 blocks from me.
When they finally arrived, months later, I was meeting my youngest granddaughter for very first time and seeing her older sister for the first time since she was an infant. I acquired the name of Gramps pretty quick and that soon changed to Grumps, my choice. They'd ride their bikes over to see me and I was always just thrilled to see them. Sometimes I'd take the whole bunch of them out for dinner or just the girls to McDonalds. When I'd go shopping at Costco, I'd always bring 1/2 of my take to them on the way home. Twenty LBS of potatoes, they get ten. A package of frozen hamburgers, 1/2 to the Grand kids.
In Jan 2005, I had to have heart surgery and somehow my daughter-in-law snuck herself and my oldest granddaughter in around midnight to visit me. I recall being near death and feeling my D-I-L's tears falling onto my arm as she mourned my illness. Not a good place for a 9 year old.
By the end of that year, I survived and my DIL had married her boyfriend, secretly. Without a word, they went downtown and got married. I thought that strange, after all they were living together. Why the secret ceremony? Now my 2 granddaughters were being raised by two total strangers, not related to me. I guess that's fairly common these days. After a couple of years, my DIL called and asked me if I'd be home, she needed to talk to me in person. She came over and was crying and after a long and drawn out story, she told me that they were broke and they were losing their house and could she borrow $2000 to help get caught up. Without thinking, I just said, yes. Then she said, "could you make it three"? ....And I said, sure. I wrote out a check made out to both she and her husband and as soon as she had it in her hand, the tears stopped and she was out the door. She went directly to the bank where she forged her husband's signature on it and cashed it. I never heard another word from either of them. Soon, about a year had gone by and no calls, nor would they answer the phone when I called. Once I went to the house, remember it was just 5 blocks away and rang the bell. I could hear them inside, but no one answered the bell.
Finally, I wrote to the husband at work and my DIL at home. I got a return email from the man, saying that sometimes they talk about the fact that they should pay me. That was it! My next email insisted on $300 a month for the next 10 months and I was declined. I did get a check for $200 once and another for a hundred, but I finally turned them over to a collection agency that is owned by a friend of mine and collected the entire debt, less the commission for collecting it. The family then left town after their house was foreclosed upon and I never heard another word from any of them. I heard they moved to Ohio.
Sunday night, rather late, I was on Facebook and thought of doing a search on the children and to my surprise, I did find the little one, Madison. I immediately shot off a friend request and not even 10 minutes later, Madison, now about 13 or 14 replied, YES! I instant messaged her, she was online and we chatted for a few minutes. I told her that she really ought not to tell her mother about chatting with me and she wanted to know why. I just explained that Mommy was mad at me. I asked her write me an email explaining all that she has done in the past few years and how much I loved her. She asked me to do the same and returned the I love you. We disconnected and 5 minutes later, I went back to her Facebook page and was no longer welcome. Her evil mother made her sever me as a friend and a grandfather. How sad...
I was so excited about making contact with Madison and then sooo let down when it ended. I just wish I had some recourse. Something positive, so no one got their feelings hurt or in trouble... But what?