Today has been all about family day! My mother's mom, Grandma Robinson's Birthday is today, so I called to wish her a Very Merry Happy Birthday! She is 79, doing extremely well and sounds happier than I can ever remember! She and I spoke for a little while, which is a first, but she has quit smoking and is entering the Temple for the first time. This is a very exciting time for the both of us, I can't remember a time where I was more excited and more surprised to hear something about her and I cannot wait to go with her!
I also just got off the phone with my grandma Rosenau, which is my father's mother. Normally when we talk, it is my grandma and grandpa, they are so cute; they're usually on different phones at the same time listening and talking in. I came in contact with them just a few months ago because we haven't had anything to do with my father since I was 4 and my mother just never made an effort for my brother and I to know his parents and I had no idea how to find them since I didn't know so much as their names. Shortly after my mother's death last September I felt compelled to start doing family genealogy and as I did it, I began wondering about my Rosenau side since I had never known any of them or their names. I started searching through everything I sent home after my mom had died and a while went by, but I found some old letters that my father and brother had written to each other while he had served a mission. My father was strange, probably from the drug and alcohol abuse, but when my brother said that he wanted to come see him after his mission was over, my father told him that he couldn't because he was a stranger. My brother stopped talking to him after that, but luckily after all my searching through boxes I came across those letters and they had my grandparents phone number and address, but no names.
I called them nearly everyday for a week, leaving message after message. I had thought either they didn't want anything to do with us or they had passed away and I was harassing someone to no end until they picked up the phone and told me that they had no idea who I was. Sure enough I received a call that following Monday and it was them, they couldn't believe that I had called so much and that I wanted to know them. We spoke for a couple of hours, they said that they had stopped through Missouri at one point, to see my brother and I when was 5, but didn't get to see us after that because we had moved. My mother was always moving; my father would find us and when she figured it out, she would move us to make sure we were never in danger of him taking us again (tell you that story later). Sure enough, my grandparents didn't know where we were, I'm pretty sure that's how my father had found us and my mother probably didn't want to take any chances.
Needless to say, with a leap of faith, I called and my grandparents have become people that I love very much, they are so cute and fortunately they are nothing like my father. In fact, they haven't even heard from him in 7 years because my grandfather said that it was the last time he was given him money, that he was on his own. I don't really do this, but never judge a book by it's cover... just because the children aren't good, it doesn't mean that the parents aren't. Now we talk nearly every week and come to find out, we are their only grandchildren and now they have 3 great grandchildren as well and they apologized by saying, "We are sorry that it took us 28 years to become grandparents." As for me, I never really had grandparents that cared to hear from me, that pretty much goes for family all together, so it gives me great pleasure that they wanted a relationship with me and I feel so much love for them that I can't believe how long it took for them to be in my life.
So if someone has been absent from your life... you should reach out to them. Even if it is for a reason, that something is between you or your relationship suffered from something, life is too short to hold grudges. I had wondered before I called them, why they hadn't tried knowing us, why they didn't try finding us or want us to be a part of their life bad enough to make the effort. I just put all of that aside realizing that most of the time we can't understand or know of certain things, we should put the passed away and move on. I didn't ask why they didn't make the effort, I just embrace what I have now, I was the one who had to make the effort and I am so glad that I did, regardless of the circumstances.