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Grands ’16

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  1. February 10, 2016 11:18 pm

    Happy New Year to each of you Anthonee, Erin, and Triston. Our New Year has been a whirlwind already! That’s why my NY message is coming in time for Valentine’s Day. I’ve been thinking of each of you and where you are in your lives. We’ve had so much happiness around us lately that I wish you were close enough to feel it too. So much has happened since the holidays! We have new family members left and right, and new addresses making us all almost neighbors! Our Christmas was so very nice with almost everyone here. Hope yours was good too. I follow you a bit to see what you’re up to, and hope you can dig up enough courage to reach out to us sooner rather than later. I’d hate for it come so late you miss out – we won’t live forever. We feel that regularly. You’ve already lost one Great Grandma…heart breaking that you are blind to what you have here. Grampa and I are right where you left us – same address and phone numbers…we’ll be waiting. Erin, continued best wishes for you and your own little family, Anthonee, good luck with your new girlfriend, and Triston, do well with your school work. It will take you far. You all have great genes and I hope your Dad’s good heart, strong work ethic, and great personality also emanates from your selves as well. He is such a good man. Happy, happy New Year!! Love, Grammie.

  2. February 29, 2016 9:31 pm

    Guess what?! It’s the extra day we get every 4 years. Do you know why? It takes 365.25 days to circle the sun…so we take the whole days and save up the .25 until we can use it as a full day. Today! And every 4 years thereafter. So, today I have an extra day in my life and I thought I’d spend it in gratitude. I am grateful to see you each smile in photographs that are out there. I am grateful to be alive, and that you are each alive because it means we have more time to find the way to reconnect. Erin, you have a child. When you feel that love for your son, know that your Dad has that for you every day. You have a husband making you a family. Would you walk away from them, take your child from them? You can fix this. Anthonee, I know in your heart you still think of your Dad probably daily – when you feel creative, caring, athletic, determined, or like making someone laugh. You miss us. I see it in your eyes. Triston. You were the one who hung in there. You are stronger than you may know. We wish for your smile, voice, laughter every day. Yes. This is that one extra day we get every year. It’s my day of hope. For our future. I have confidence you have the courage to reach back and reconnect with each of us. We are still here. We are still creating memories and enjoying life so much! You will enjoy yourselves, and enrich your lives once you figure out you should be here too. Happy Leap Year!! My day of hope.

  3. March 30, 2016 11:14 pm

    Happy March!!! Out with March, and in with April. I don’t know about you, Anthonee, Erin and Triston, but we are pretty dang busy with life between work, home, community, and family. Our little family is growing left and right. You’re missing it!! We’re adding on! It’s so much fun to have your Uncle Cory back in town. He and his little family have moved right down the street. Your Great Grandparents are right around the corner, your Dad and fiancee’ pretty dang close by, as are cousins, nieces/nephews. This means we have lots of fun on our time of and holidays as we tackle then. Add to this the ever increasing responsibilities Grampa and I are tackling, and the training schedule I’m trying to maintain, and we always busy. I think of you every day and where you would fit in to the hubbub occurring around us. There are gaping holes you should be filling, but we are not drowning in them. πŸ™‚ I hope your lives with babies, girlfriends, jobs, and school are keeping you as busy and fulfilled as we are. And of course, I always have our door open for you. Waiting for you to dig up the courage to retrace your steps back to us. Because we’re worth it. πŸ˜‰ Love you forever Anthonee, Erin, and Triston!!

  4. April 24, 2016 8:22 am

    Good morning Grands! It’s such a beautiful time of year, and the best time of year in Fl before the oppressive heat and filled with sunshine and fresh flowers and leaves. And it’s your birthday Erin! Happy Birthday. I hope you and your little family are celebrating you. We do. Surprises you, doesn’t it? Ah, springtime…I love the beaches this time of year and am always reminded of our times at the beach; picnics, swimming, splashing, and watching each of you grow up in the sand and sun. It was sure fun, don’t you think so? Erin, you were a mermaid from day one; Anthonee, you became a shark expert in no time at all; and Triston, you were fearless on a skim board before most kids could swim. I remember our earliest visits when we were still learning about how strong summer is in Florida and we underestimated the value of sunscreen and umbrellas. We learned quickly though. We still have your beach towels and boogie boards, but gave away all your outgrown swim suits and old goggles. We have the best pop up canopy and I use it for our beach city picnics regularly. My favorite beach day is still on Mothers’ Day. We are headed to Vilano Beach this time. Uncle Cory and his family are coming with us. It will be a blast! We will play bocce and picnic all day. If you were here you could go too. πŸ˜‰ And since you know where it is, you could just join us.

    I’ve been reading a lot of Dr. Childress’ work on parental alienation and it has brought me some emotional relief to know we aren’t all crazy, there are reasons for how and why we were torn apart; and most importantly, there are success stories of children reaching back and reuniting with those they lost. Perhaps someday you will each run across this, or his work and it will encourage you to be strong enough to do so. Your Dad is an amazing person, putting together a beautiful life, and your lives would be so enriched bringing us back into them. I worry you will gain the strength and resolve to do so when it’s too late. When we are all gone. If that happens, your loss will be great as it is already. Don’t wait. Come to the beach wit us! Love, Grammie.

  5. June 29, 2016 7:59 am

    Good morning Grands! It’s been a crazy good summer so far – in all areas of our lives. I looked and see I missed my May post to you. I was thinking about all the things I would say to you and didn’t realize I hadn’t typed them in. We celebrated your Dad’s wedding to Krysta is May. It was the nicest thing we’ve done in such a long, long time. Grampa and I danced at their rooftop wedding!

    Your Dad is the most wonderful of people and I”m sorry you have been mislead to the point of brainwashed about him. He is intelligent, funny, kind, and honest. He loves life and works hard. He has become himself in the best way. We love him and we are so very proud of him. Krysta is perfect for him and I think if you gave her a chance you would like her a lot. She has so many of these same qualities and the fact that she loves your Dad, and has so much pride and respect in his recovery from the trauma of your forced betrayal gives her a special place in our hearts.

    Your lives would be so much the richer Anthonee, Triston, and Erin, with your Dad back by your sides. I think daily about waht it would be like to answer the phone of knock at the door and find you there like it was an everyday thing. The way it is with the rest of our family when we smile and casually welcome them in to add another warm and welcome moment to our lives. I’m sorry you are missing out on such a rich life with your Dad and with us. And it is rich with love and fun. We now have five grandkids, and we will soon have another! You have cousins you would love to hand out with too. Our home is often full of laughter and activities that include them.

    June brings us summer fun and Grampa’s 60th birthday Party! We started the month with a pool party for one grand daughter’s end of school celebration. It’s so fun to have the pool full of kids again. You all learned to swim in this pool, and it was a central activity to your time here. Remember Triston how you would hang out on the ledge, and beg for your towel to be put in the dryer before getting out? Erin, you were our mermaid and in the water like a fish. Anthonee, we loved your basketball antics.

    So, tomorrow is Grampa’s 60th birthday and we are having the best party at a local restaurant! Tons of people are coming. It will be loads of fun. You are invited. you won’t know that. This birthday also highlights the lost time you are gathering. While everyone you once loved are still here, we won’t be forever. You should be here to wish Grampa a happy birthday, and to celebrate your Dad’s wedding. To be part of our lives – your lives. I’m sorry for you. You are missing so much. I read once that healing isn’t having things go away, but rather not having them control your life. I’ve healed in that sense. Your absence won’t control my life anymore, but it is on my mind every day, as I know it is yours if you’ll admit it. Milestones should be shared with us – and you know that secretly in your hearts. All the forced laughter doesn’t really hide it. Love you forever Grands! Love, Grammie

  6. July 26, 2016 9:23 am

    Happy summer Grands! I can’t believe we are getting this close to school starting. Well, I guess that would be relevant to Triston rather than to You Erin or Anthonee. Unless either of you are still in college. I’m thinking Anthonee is working hard, and Erin is raising our great grand son. Yes, Erin. We are his great grandparents no matter how hard you all try to erase us from existence. We have a love and warmth in our hearts that glows brightly through the pain we experienced by those harsh actions. We love you even today. And while we now have 5, soon to be 6 grandchildren, you are my eldest grand daughter. You all have missed out on such nice family memories. I am sorry for you.

    We are having a great summer. M just returned from TX and we are planning a week of fun. Today is a shopping day. Tomorrow is for kayaking!! And lunch in St. Augustine. My favorite place around here. We’re looking at getting a beach condo to spend weekends in the sand. I’m thinking by next summer we’ll be there. πŸ™‚ I may not love Florida, but I do love the beach. Ocean swimming is the best! Erin, you were on your way to being a surfer, and of course, you were our mermaid. Anthonee, you could tell us more about sharks than anyone I know. Do you still like them? Triston, thoughts of you in your snorkling mask are stuck in my head forever. Your Dad and I took up SCUBA diving, and I think you would love it too!

    Well, off to see the dolphins. Love, Grammie.

  7. August 28, 2016 9:19 am

    Happy August Grands! Wow. It is soo hot here in August, and I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it? Remember hanging out all day in bathing suits so you could swim or just get wet? I love those days. August is such a fun birthday month for us. Your Dad’s birthday was a milestone one this year – 40. So, as I sit here and think back, I realize we all can recollect each of the decades for your Dad’s birthdays…your Dad is the same age we were when we moved to Florida from Washington. You were each born by then Anthonee and Erin. Triston, you would come along about 5 year later, making us grandparents at the age your Dad is now. Your Dad met his 40th birthday with a happy heart because he has a new wife who loves and admires him; he has a nice house and job that suits him, and he has a best furry friend who can’t wait to see him every time he walks in the door. In short, he has made a special life for himself, and we are so proud and pleased. It is very sad you are missing out on this special part of your lives that could so easily be yours. I continue to feel sorry for the mess you are in and the damage done to you. I also continue to hold out hope that you can recover now that you are reaching your majority and can choose clarity and courage over the false story you’ve been living in. You’re missing so much!
    Uncle Cory is going to be a Dad again too!! He and his wife Jenny are having a baby boy and his birthday could be in January. We are truly excited. He will be the little brother to Maddy who is the same age as Triston. Yes, you have cousins all over the place who are fun and full of adventure. They moved here this year, so we take advantage of all of us being together to do exciting and sometimes just nice things.
    Uncle Cory’s birthday was the week after your Dad’s so we all went to his house for a BBQ. It was too hot outside to hang out and play yard games, but it was an awesome time visiting and laughing. The kids played wii – yep, we still like doing that. It’s almost a retro thing now, isn’t it?
    After all the parties in August, we are now in the midst of planning a wonderful 60th Anniversary Celebration for your Great Grandparents. Aunt Cassie and I are in full production mode on an Oktoberfest themed party we’re having at their house – did you know they live right around the corner from us? It looks like a good number of cousins from each generation are coming to celebrate, along with the neighborhood – you know them because you’ve been to their homes for New Years Eve, Christmas, and Fourth of July parties. Yep – I can tell you just smiled thinking of those fun times.
    Today is a swimming and sewing day for me. It’s a perfect kind of day to spend the afternoon catching up, so once you draw on that courage and want to recover your lives with us, you know where to find us. We would love to hug you again, and to meet your new loves, and Erin – your baby (your Dad’s grandson). It’s a shame to see you withholding such a wealth of love and family from yourselves and children.
    Okay – I’m off to enjoy the pool. Love, Grammie!

  8. September 24, 2016 3:13 pm

    Hello Grands! Happy Fall! Of course fall in FL just means a new calendar and maybe some pumpkin flavored anything. πŸ™‚ This has truly been a year of celebrations, and September has been amazing. With each milestone and toast, I think of each of you Anthonee, Erin, and Triston, and what you’re missing; then I think about what you’re keeping from your family by staying away. Very sad – but we continue to celebrate, and I continue to imagine you there with us.
    Your Great Grandparents celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary! Aunt Cassie and I hosted an Oktoberfest style dinner party at their home – which is now right around the corner from ours. So much fun! The newest family members were there with close to every one in the family (some couldn’t make it), and we had a great time. You always did enjoy our neighborhood parties, and you would have had a great time at this one too. Erin, if you were there with your baby boy, we would have had FIVE generations together. There’s not much time for you to reverse this damage and make this happen. Be courageous my dear. We are here for you anytime.
    While Aunt Cassie and Bill were here, she brought over her little grand-daughter, Ainsley. She is such a nice and smart girl! Best part? She loves Disney, and so do we. You know what that means; we’re all going to Disney World in the early spring, and I am going to show them all your favorite things there. We’re going to watch the last parade and then fireworks while eating corn dogs at Casey’s, we’re going to get Mickey ears with our names on them; ride space mountain and Buzz Lightyear (Grampa’s and Anthonee’s favorite); and check out all the new things to do. We still get annual passes for us, and we still save all of our change in the green glass jar for souvenir shopping in Downtown Disney on our last day there.
    This time we are staying in the Treehouses! There’s room if you want to go!
    Uncle Cory and Aunt Jenny are having a baby boy! Now I have another Grand to take to Disney and teach to swim, ride a bike, and read stories! Baby Gray has a big sister named Maddie who is so excited too. She’s awesome. She is the same age as you Triston – which means you must be almost ready for your driver’s permit. She’s studying hard, and ready to drive. Our friend Jack is going to give her driving lessons! She already has a car, and a part-time job to pay for it. We’re very proud of her and her hard work. Triston, we wonder what you are doing in school these days? Erin, how is married and mom life going for you? Even though it’s in name only, you’ve made your Dad and grandparent, and all of us one extra generation up. Anthonee, what milestones are you accomplishing? Are you working at a job you like, or are you an entrepreneur? Graduate? Married or dating? My number has never changed, and you can call to catch up anytime. We love you all! Happy Fall Equinox!! Love, Grammie

  9. October 23, 2016 8:09 pm

    Oh my Grands. October has been simply loads of fun! Where do I start? Of course we celebrated more birthdays than you can imagine – Your Great Grandma’s and Great Grandpa’s, your new Aunt Jenny’s, Soner’s and of course MINE! I am sure you think about our birthdays and all the fun we typically have celebrating – heck, we celebrated most of your birthdays at our house! And I know, even though you can’t say it out loud, you wish me a happy birthday. I think of you as you must be now all the time. I know you will. πŸ™‚ We had a very cool family party/potluck at your Great Grandparents’ new house. So much fun. You could have been there you know.

    We’ve been working on our Halloween party plans that include the bunco party and our cul de sac potluck and trick or treat festivities. What are you doing for Halloween? Anthonee, your last trick or treat adventure in our neighborhood found you spending the evening being a part of a haunted house you just couldn’t leave! I imagine you designing your own nowadays. Triston, I made your Hulk costume for your last Halloween with us. You loved it so much you wore it for a week! Erin, the super cute witches dress you wore when we took you to our last Disney’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is now going to Aunt Cassie’s grand daughter Ainsley. She saw it while here and loves it. I showed her the picture of you wearing it at Walt Disney World! She’s hooked. Our Halloween Disney trips were THE BEST! Don’t you think so?! I know you do. They were the best Disney trips we took, and the costumes I made you over the years were my favorite projects ever! Anthonee, Erin, Triston – remember the year you were all Pirates?! Awesome! Those days are ours forever! I know they are nestled safely in the corners of your memories where you peek at them every once in a while. We always had the best times no matter what happened before and after. We always had the best times.

    Wouldn’ it be fun to do it again? We still go to Disney, and we wear costumes!! We miss you. You could be with us. You could include your son, Erin. You know I make the best costumes. We are going again in November and then March with Aunt Cassie and her family! So much fun. C’mon. Be bold. Join us.

    Happy Halloween to each of you Anthonee, Erin, and Triston!! Each time you don a costume, or see kid trick-or-treating, you will think of us. We know you will. And we smile.

    November brings us lots of activities, including the highlight: A BABY SHOWER for your newest cousin and our newest grandson, Ashton!! We are beyond excited. We have missed being active grandparents. You know how good we are at that! Ashton is going to be so very spoiled in the best ways!

    And Happy Halloween to you!! Love you forever Anthonee, Erin, and Triston!!!

  10. November 28, 2016 10:52 pm

    I can hardly believe we are sitting under the Christmas lights already and once again – and without you here to enjoy with us. Mostly sad for you because life is so very good for the Gray family these days! The weather has been so very nice. We are actually going camping this weekend – with Christmas lights! I recall the years we set up the tree together – we actually bought that 10′ tree just for you Anthonee, Erin, and Triston, and you loved it every year – especially the year you made up the Christmas song about me falling into the tree while trying to reach the very top!
    We just had the nicest Thanksgiving dinner with your Uncle Cory and his little family of his wife Jenny and their daughter Maddy (who is close to Triston’s age!). Maddy is such a delight. She’s smart, funny, loves flag football, and cheer; oh, and she has a boyfriend! (Shhh!) We like him a lot too. SO, Uncle Cory made the best fried turkey, and we all brought the sides. We all spent the day sharing this great meal, laughing and visiting, and then taking in the Cowboys and Redskins football game. Your Aunt Jenny (Uncle Cory’s wife) LOVES the Cowboys! And she loves football. It was a great afternoon. Then we hit up Kohl’s for a Black Friday run, but after Maddy and I loaded up on her new wardrobe additions, we decided the line was way too long! We stashed our booty and I went home to bed while Cory and co. returned at midnight and made the purchase. Score! Your Dad was having dinner with K’s family in south Florida. They do this every year so they can visit, and K can go Black Friday shopping with her sister! She is the best bargain shopper! While we miss them when they go there, we love K’s family too, and we’re glad they can get together. We have certainly ended up with such a great family circle here. You would enjoy them very much too, but first you have to draw up your courage to reach out and return to our hugs and kisses!
    So, now the Christmas tree is up, most of our gifts are ready, and we are making our plans to head to Georgia for our Gray Family Christmas Dinner in a few weeks. Maddy is going with us. She hit it off so well with all the Fairs – just like you did Erin, Anthonee, and Triston. So, let’s see, Maddy is now hanging out with Erin Mckenna who is off to college next year! She’s going to UGA. Tyler – your other half of the peas in a pod pair – well, he’s a Marine and just left for his first deployment. Erin, Sierra is sweet and salty too living in LA not too far from here. We visit them each year when we head to the races in Austin. She’s doing great in school, just went to a junior prom and has a very sweet boyfriend too. Triston, JR is now in junior high and living in Albany GA. He is soon to be an only child at home kind of kid, and I think he likes that. Savannah is getting very close to either college or the military. We have quite the amazing family! And I haven’t even touched on most of them. We are a growing family, and each addition makes us happier.
    The best addition today is our soon to be newest grandson, Ashton! Soooo very excited to have a new baby in the family. He will be very spoiled as his maternal grand parents are moving here so we can all pamper the living daylights out of him. Looking forward to when you can bring yourselves back to the family. You’ve missed so much. You lost Grandma Gray. She won’t be the last. Well, Hope your Thanksgiving was a nice one, and you are able to reconcile your well wishes and thanks. Missing you during the holidays! Love, Grammie.

  11. December 28, 2016 7:46 am

    Happy birthday Anthonee! And Merry CHristmas and Happy New Year my dear Grands Anthonee, Erin, and Triston. I trust your holidays are making you happy. We have had a whirlwind of a time here with our family. Your Dad and K hosted Christmas Dinner with us, Cory and his family. It was such a fun time, and dinner was really good. I love seeing everyone’s homes decked out in Christmas lights, tables full of our favorite foods, and having everyone together. It’s especially nice this year with both Cory and your Dad here with Grampa and I; everyone is happy, and successful. It’s also an exhausting time of year for me as I power through the opposing feelings of joy and despair. I am joyful for the good things in my life. and for spending time with our sons and their families. At the same time I am keeping the despair at bay so it doesn’t cloud my joy. I despair over your absence from our lives, and from the painful scars for your Dad. It is interesting that I’ve learned this continuum of despair is called grief. I recognize now that I am dealing with the grief of losing you and seeing our son lose his children. The only sliver of light is that we did not lose you to death and therefore it is within the realm of possibility you could return. We are open to this. THe scars are pretty deep and will always be there of course. I know that since we are balancing between the strong memories of our wonderful holidays together, then you are too. You won’t admit it, but when you do those things we did together, we will come to mind and you will smile. Our Christmas mornings in your living room watching you open presents; our Christmas Eve parties for you when we gave you that just one present you couldn’t wait for; making Christmas cookies together; jumping in the pool in the middle of winter; sleep overs with cartoons and popcorn late into the night; the special Christmas outfits I’d make for you; and our trips to visit and celebrate with your cousins and Great Grandma Gray. We are making new memories and traditions while keeping some of these to share with the rest of our grands. Our newest coming in January! So, now we have 2 birthdays in April, two in January, one in November and one in December. We have much to be grateful and joyful for – and we are. I will power through the grief that is only magnified this time of year. Seeing the contentment and smiles on the faces of Grampa, Uncle Cory and your Dad, along with their families makes my world a little more perfect. Merry Christmas. It appears we will have yet another page of notes to you for 2017. Wishing you the strength and courage to reconnect. You know where we are. Love, Grammie

  12. February 19, 2017 11:43 pm

    I know it’s already well into 2017, and I’m still on this 2016 page for you. I don’t want time to continue to pass us by. I’m saddened every day that goes by, drug down by every year and page I have to add that deepens and extends the time we are apart. I know in your hearts you have echoes that cause you to pause, and then stop and wonder. Perhaps make your lips curl up in a little smile when you remember some happy moment we shared. I do. I have them often, and I’ve even learned to speak of them without explanation. I’ve become comfortable referring to you as, when the grandkids were here; or when they were little – as though that fully explains to others why things aren’t as they should be. You know, they’re grown up now, some with kids of their own, and all living far away…today’s events cover up our reality. The reality where you were ripped from our lives, and steadily, regularly, told a new story for your lives that filled in where there were questions. I’m sure you have a good life story that justifies why you lost us. It’s not real, but it fills the gaps. It’s not true, but it supports they wrongs done to you and us. It’s left us all with gaping holes we fill somehow.

    We are doing very well. We – well, I can only speak for myself – I look forward to everyday full of love and happiness for those around me. Your great grandparents are doing so well, and live around the corner so we can visit every day. Your uncle has an awesome little family that includes its newest member as of the same date you, Erin, had your daughter – your Dad’s grand daughter and our great grand daughter. She will miss out on so much. Your Dad has a wonderful wife, and you should meet Indie and Charlie! You all have cousins and 2nd cousins who are filling our lives with joy and excitement with all the things they do. I won’t say I don’t still get angry over your absence. I do. Triston, the last time we saw you, you were celebrating your 9th birthday – think about that. Your cousin is the same age as you. We see her all the time, and she’s doing great! Getting ready to start driving, going out for flag football, and enjoying her little bundle of joy baby brother! We love them both so much! You know what it’s like. And you know what it’s like spending good times with us too.

    So, for now we go back to our regular lives: We’re remodeling the house, I’m starting a new business, Grampa is in a new job – still Navy, but new; your Dad and uncle are working together in awesome jobs; your great grandparents are living the high life right here by all of us; and we take the little snippets of your lives and hold them dearly in our imaginations. We wish you well. We wish you better. We wish for a different reality that folds you into our family where you should be. Tsk, tsk. So much you’re missing. So much richer your lives could be. Love and hugs, Grammie!

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