Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Post Estrangement: Staying connected with my grandson

I write to my grandson everyday. I fill pages for him with stories and advice and all kinds of things that I wish to share with him. I do this for me, because it allows me to experience being a grandmother in that I am doing something for my grandson. I do this for him, so that someday he will have a legacy of who I was and how much I cherished him from afar.

As I was sitting at my desk today contemplating what to share with him I came across this meme  

This inspired me to write to him under the "advice" column of my daily letter.  

Advice for you Walter from your Mamma-rae:  
"Don't Give Up"  

Walter, this is a powerful statement; “don’t give up”.  There are always challenges in life.  There are things that go wrong in life.  There things that totally through you down and knock you out. That is the nature of life.

Even when things are in the midst of going really well along comes some catastrophe that can shatter all your dreams and illusions of what the possibilities are or might be.

And some people are destroyed by those events.  They live in the trauma of that shattering event for the rest of their lives.  And others, pick up the pieces and the broken bits and figure out a way to make something new with what remains. 

Neither path is easy!   The former is filled with the excruciating pain of reliving the traumatic event, the fear, the sorrow, the anger, the suffering.  That is surely not an easy life to lead!

The other path requires facing facts and resolving to do whatever it takes to somehow move forward beyond the tragedy.  It requires courage to face what is the reality of the tragedy with honesty and then bravely march forward into the unknown.

What I wish for you dear grandson is that courage.  May you always be able to pick up the broken pieces of whatever life throws at you and create something new and whole and good and worthwhile.

Your loving Mamma-rae.

And as I wrote it I realized something profound.  I have to live my life as an example of how to deal with tragedy if I want to be a role model for my grandson. 

The tragedy we share, is that we are never going to reclaim the time together that has been taken from us.  But I can by my actions show him that even this tragedy can be an inspiration to creating something of value.  As I write to him as an alternative to seeing him, I show him that I took the initiative to remain connected to him under less than ideal conditions. 

I also plan to show him by life stories, my adventure tales, my poetry and art work which I share with him, that I found a way to create a good life out of the tragedy of estrangement.  This is the legacy I wish to give my grandson.

Renate Dundys Marrello 

photo credit:  as marked or unknown 


  1. There are so many children without parents or grandparents, that it has meant the world to me to mentor a few of them. Granted, it's not "my own" but all children are God's children, and all children are ours.

    I love the book you are writing for your grandchild. I hope one day you can share it with him. In the meantime, consider sharing with all the children in the world who would love to know you and have you in your life! This is what I have started doing, and it makes a world of difference.

    Why all children love me except my own is a mystery I will never know, but I can still make a difference in this world even if it's for a few lost children who have no family at all. Putting ourselves where we are wanted makes all the difference in the world to them, and this changes everything. We do have value in this world, if not for one, then possibly for many.

  2. Correction: "consider sharing with all the children in the world who would love to know you and have someone like you in their life! "