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Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

We were there when he needed us.....................................

"we were there when he needed us".............a line from Chicago Fire this evening. It made me think.
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I have felt bad every day since giving up Tristen. I felt we had no choice but to give him up when "they" took us to court to get custody. In order to fight, it would have hurt many other people. We had a really hard time with all of it. Laura H, Tristen's cousin, wanted him from day one. He lived with us because he was already living with us. His Mother lived with us. They were living here when she died. We were asked by Alex's dad, Dan, if we would keep him. We wanted to, we could not see any other way that would not hurt Tristen. He was 15months old. Another upheaval in his life seemed unnecessary and certainly not what I wanted. I was already more or less raising him anyway. Alex was going to school and working, she was engaged (but had broken it off at that point)and emotionally unsettled. So really Tristen was my responsibility already, I got up in the night with him and in most respects he was more comfortable with me. So when he was almost 7 Laura H asked when she would get him to live with her. I could not see that happening any time in the immediate future simply because there was no reason for it. I figured when we were older, maybe 5 more years when he was old enough to understand would be the time. She didn't agree. Apparently she had been taking notes. Every difficult situation that I went through and confided in to her, she brought back as a reason that I could not handle his ADHD. It was not true I was just frustrated. It was true that things had got difficult. We worked closely with his doctor, his counselor and his teachers. We worked with them to get him on the best medications for every aspect. He could be very difficult when the ADHD got out of control.
Well, when I got the notice from her lawyer we were stunned. I was shattered. She said that I was "letting him run wild in the neighbourhood" the truth was, I let him go across our ally to play with some friends. I felt it was time to let him have a little bit of freedom. As it turned out he was not yet trustworthy, he went further than allowed and got grounded. When the lady from Dept of human services came to see us, Tristen and I took her to see where he had been playing and what happened that day and what the consequences were. She said it was perfectly within reason for his age. So did the judge. All this still bothers me that she could be so underhanded. We had felt bad about having such a tight reign on him and had only just let loose a little, I had told Laura H about the incident and apparently she had taken notes. I had also told her about his sometimes violent outbursts and temper tantrums. She noted that as well. She said that I did not follow through with his punishments and let him get away with things. That I was using the meds to control him, Well the doctor and teacher both testified that I had very closely worked with them on the issues. So when we went to court everything she said had been proven wrong. So the judge said she wanted to dismiss it. Well Laura H said they had "other things" .............They had nothing but the judge had no choice but to set a date for a "trial" The date chosen was the date Alex died. I just could not do it. Emotionally I could not handle it. I could not even talk about it without wanting to cry. I was a mess. I could not think straight. I could not put my thoughts together. I knew that I just could not sit on the witness stand and say all the things I needed to say about people and feel right. As in Chicago Fires episode tonight. To say the things about basically decent people that would have to be said in court, well it is not in me to do it. Oh I had enough to destroy any hope of Laura H getting Tristen ever. The thing was, for what end? To get my own way? What would be best for Tristen.? The truth is we are getting older. I am now 70. Laura and Todd are in the 50 range. Todd is a lot stronger than Gerry, more able to handle a growing boy and he will only get bigger. One who could be violent and hard to handle. The main thing is what is best for Tristen. He was devastated, he didn't want to go. He was really sad and upset he hated everyone. We have had him visit several weekends and he still says when he is older he is coming back. Bless Him. He is settled down now somewhat and to tell the truth I have got a life again. He is involved in Boy Scouts and Awana and will get to do a lot that we can not do. They also have the money. We do not.
I was talking to Todd the other day when he dropped Tristen off. Apparently they have the very same problems that we had. Nothing has changed in that respect. In fact his current counselor said the same as his other one did. He needs structure and needs consistency. So its not really good for him going back and forth to other homes all the time. He goes to his Grandpa Dan's now as well as to see us. Well when I was having issues with his medications and kept him home, Laura H accused me of with holding him from them. Now at least Todd understands that was not the case. That it was not done out of malice but for Tristen's sake. He also said that he was disrespecting Laura, well he resents Laura. What can I say?. He does not want to be there.
We have not seen him since Christmas now. Laura H wants "control" just like Dan does. That's OK I won't play that game. When I asked when he would come over again the answer was "I have not decided yet" ...........well I am sorry but I am not begging for time. Tristen can come any time he wants and as he gets older he can insist if he wants to. She is finding out that he takes a lot of time, there have been snow days and teacher days and 1/2 days and holidays. I made it clear I would have him any time they needed me to. She said "oh we have plenty of holiday time we can use" we wont need help ...........well how long before work decides they don't like that? not my problem I guess. The offer is there. They have him stay at school until someone can pick him up. So he has a long day. I used to pick him up right after school and talk to his teacher to find out how his day was. Now he is not doing so good in school according to Todd. I feel bad for Tristen, but at 7 I am sure he will deal with things.
I will always love him, I will always be here for him but I had to let him go. I had no choice. Not without damaging relationships within the family by making people take sides. The judge thanked me for that. I couldn't even answer her.
I had the best times, the baby times, the little toddler times and all the cuteness. Actually, they have all the work now. The homework and all the school activities that will come up soon. They have to keep him on the straight and narrow and that won't be fun. If things work out as it did with my Granddaughters I will be asked to take him on when he is 16 haha..............at 79 years of age. I don't think I will be up for that. They will reap what they sowed. So.........a TV show, it showed me that yes, we had him when he needed us the most. When he was a baby and little boy.
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We had the loving cute little boy, who was always smiling and laughing and going on adventures with us. Me and his Grandmother. Not the substitutes that he has now. They all think they know best. We shall see.

3 comments:

NanaDiana said...

Oh- You know I am bawling here...as a grandmother who has a heart like yours I so understand and that last picture just rips my heart out. God bless you for all you did for that little guy. He know it and he will find his way back to you in many different ways over the years. Sometimes we do have to give up without a fight for what is best for the children. I have had to do that in my life, too. It is NOT easy and you take the hurts of that to the soul and, ultimately, to the grave.

I am so sorry but I know that you did what you did for the very best of everyone. That being said I also know you have a broken heart...and those that broke your heart? Well, that will come back to haunt them. I do believe that. xo Diana

Kay G. said...

Oh Janice, this is a truly heart breaking story. You have done the best for Tristan and that is what matters the most. He knows you love him and love is everything!
God bless you! xx

Magic Love Crow said...

You wrote from your heart! This is so heart breaking! You know Tristan loves you and he knows you love him! That is the main thing! Big Hugs!