As a grandparent we always believed that we were there to watch our grandchildren at concerts, sporting events, whatever they chose to do and we would cheer them on, or take them for overnight visits where they would get spoiled and then take them back to their parents the next day.
For the last three years or so this wasn’t the case, instead we became the parents. Growing up, my daughter was a great girl and gave us no problems, she was and still is a beautiful girl, she was always involved in sports, in as well as out of school especially ball where she became great at this throughout her younger years.
She had lots of great friends that loved being around her. She was kind, considerate, funny, polite, never judged others and always saw the good in others. She worked during the summer so she felt good about being able to buy herself what she liked. She was also a good worker.
After graduating from high school, she met a guy and when he moved to a different province, it wasn’t much later she went to be with him. Within a couple of years my daughter became a victim of abuse and became the mother to two beautiful children, “Our Grandchildren”. Even though she was being abused, she stayed because at that time she really thought she loved him.
Three months after my grandson was born, my daughter came home with her 2 children and lived with us for almost a year. Within that year her boyfriend (father of the children) decided to leave Ontario and move to Alberta for a few months. He wanted our daughter and their children to fly out to Alberta so they could be together as a family. So late spring 2014 she packed up and wanted to try again. We didn’t want them to leave as we were afraid what this relationship would be like so far from home. So for the first 3 or 4 months everything seemed to be working out OK – she got a job where her boyfriend worked, he worked nights, while she worked days. They seemed to be doing OK as they were doing things together as a family when they were both off.
It wasn’t long though they met some younger people and the partying started. Thank heavens for the other grandparents living in the same building to take care of those kids as their relationship became a lot of infighting and abuse, all the while the partying turned to alcohol and drugs. As the weeks progressed so did the partying and the abusive relationship led to numerous calls to the police and, at one point, my daughter suffered with injured wrists.
There were many times that I wanted to get on a plane and take my grandchildren home and away from everything because what I was being told was that things weren’t good at all, and she lost her job. At this point I called the RCMP in Alberta and was told them that my daughter and her boyfriend were becoming well known to them and asked if there was ever a time that these children might be taken into custody of Child Protection Services. I wanted a call so I could go and get them. Well it wasn’t long after all that my daughter asked me to fly her and the children home right away. June 25, 2015, $2000.00 later, I had them back here with a big sigh of relief because I knew these children were going to be safe.
Her now ex boyfriend had come back too, but after a month he started abusing her again. She told him that was it and we told him not to come back to our house again. Finally their relationship ended for good. So thinking things would change, which they did for a while, an incident happened involving alcohol and drugs. Child Protection Services were called, so our daughter could no longer leave the house with her children unless it was under our supervision. That day forward, our lives changed, I couldn’t work for over a month until we could get the kids into a child care facility. We actually became parents to our grandchildren, this was where they needed to be as they were through enough out west and they needed us, their family to look after them and love them too.
Money was tight and we had to borrow at the time to make sure those kids had everything they needed. For the first few months off and on, our daughter still lived with us, but sometimes there were a few days at time we wouldn’t hear from her but then there were times she seemed to be doing very well. At that time I told her if she was to leave the house again, the way she did, then she would no longer be living here as it was too hard on the kids. So for a while I thought finally she is doing much better and at home more with us and the children. She ended up in the hospital in January 2016 for surgery and was put on very strong pain pills. Released after 11 days, she did good at home for another couple of weeks, then in February 2016 she left the house, this time she wasn’t coming back.
So instead of working hard with her social worker and getting her life on track, things went backwards. Only this time she landed in jail for a few months.
So raising the kids “for a while” has been quite challenging, we had to potty train our grandson, take days off work due to appointments, making sure immunizations were up to date, I couldn’t take extra shifts at work for a while, the list goes on and on, but I wouldn’t change it as these kids are happy and loved and they know how to love back. They have lots of friends, are into sports, love to skate, love the outdoors and are doing great in school and kindergarten.
Now 3 years later we are still raising our grandchildren, our daughter is doing better, much better, she is more involved with the kids, she sees them often as she can, calls pretty much every night, attends the ball and basketball games, is more involved in their birthday parties and has joined us at the pool and movies – that has be positive!
As of today, my daughter has been at the Addictions Center for over a week and is waiting for a bed in the transition unit of this facility. Do we give up on our daughter? “NO”. All we want is for our daughter to become healthy again and to once again be raising her children as she did before all this started. She loves her kids as much as they love her.
I would like to end my story with a poem which affects a lot of us as this is why many of us are raising our grandchildren, plus I also lost a son to drugs.
Hello, my name is DRUGS – The Poem
Hello, my name is DRUGS
I destroy homes, tear families apart, take your children, and that’s just the start.
I’m more costly than diamonds, more costly than gold, the sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.
And if you need me, remember I’m easily found, I live all around you, in schools and in town.
I live with the rich, I live with the poor, I live down the street, and maybe next door.
My power is awesome; try me, you’ll see. But if you do, you may NEVER break free.
Just try me once and I might let you go, but try me twice, and I’ll own your soul.
When I possess you, you’ll steal, and you’ll lie.
You do what you have to just to get high.
The crimes you’ll commit, for my narcotic charms will be worth the pleasure you’ll feel in my arms.
You’ll lie to your mother; you’ll steal from your dad. When you see their tears, you should feel sad.
But you’ll forget your morals and how you were raised, I’ll be your conscience, I’ll teach you my ways.
I take kids from parents, and parents from kids, I turn people from god, and separate friends.
I’ll take everything from you, your looks and your pride, I’ll be with you always, right by your side.
You’ll give up everything… your family, your home… your friends, your money, then you’ll be alone.
I’ll take and take, till you have nothing more to give.
When I’m finished with you you’ll be lucky to live.
If you try me be warned this is no game.
If given the chance, I’ll drive you insane.
I’ll ravish your body; I’ll control your mind.
I’ll own you completely; your soul will be mine.
The nightmares I’ll give you while lying in bed, the voices you’ll hear from inside your head.
The sweats, the shakes, the visions you’ll see; I want you to know, these are all gifts from me.
But then it’s too late, and you’ll know in your heart, that you are mine, and we shall not part.
You’ll regret that you tried me, they always do, but you came to me, not I to you.
You knew this would happen.
Many times you were told, but you challenged my power, and chose to be bold.
You could have said no, and just walked away.
If you could live that day over, now what would you say?
I’ll be your master; you will be my slave, I’ll even go with you, when you go to your grave.
Now that you have met me, what will you do?
Will you try me or not?
It’s all up to you.
I can bring you more misery than words can tell.
Come take my hand, LET ME LEAD YOU TO HELL!