I always told myself that I wanted to stay in contact with Great Grandma P even after Dude and Dolly went to Dallas. And we did talk for awhile. About once a month or so GGP would call me and we'd talk about the case. GGP wanted us to stay in the case. She did NOT want those children to go to Dallas. So as long as we were still intervening, GGP and I stayed in contact.
After we officially dropped out in January I stopped calling. I mean...what would I say?!
But a few days ago I decided to tell her I miss her. I sent GGP a brief text telling her I'm thinking about her. (It cracks me up just a little that a 74 year old grandma texts.)
Great Grandma P didn't text me back though. I honestly didn't expect her to. She lives in EXTREME poverty. Her phone could have been shut off. She could have a new phone number. She could be sick. And in reality, she could have even died. She's not young and she's not always healthy. (But to look at GGP she's the type of woman that strikes you as someone that's never going to die. She's strong. She's vibrant. And she's always on the go!)
While in the car on the way to the meeting with Daisy's lawyer I got a phone call. Low and behold, it was Great Grandma P!!
Talking with GGP is always an interesting experience. She talks about family members like I should know who they all are. She tells me stories like I should know all the details. Sometimes I have a hard time following her. But, all in all, our conversation was soothing to my soul.
She had recently been in Dallas. She's seen Dude and Dolly. According to GGP they are doing OK enough. They're not as good as when they were with me. But they are OK.
GGP's filter though is different from mine. The reason she thinks they aren't doing as well is because Dude needs a haircut and they aren't dressed as nice as when they lived with me.
Poverty skews things.
I wanted to know HOW they are. Are they being loved? Are they being kept safe? Are their emotional needs being met?
Of course GGP didn't address those issues. She did say though that the kids wouldn't talk to her much. They just wanted to run off and watch TV.
When the babies came to me they literally did not watch TV. They couldn't. They didn't enjoy it. In fact, there were a few times when I would have given anything for 30 minutes of a cartoon to settle them down. Toward the end they watched some TV at our house -- and a LOT of TV when they went to Dallas for the weekends.
I'm sure it's hard for the cherubs to see GGP though too. When their mom dropped out of their life GGP was the only family member they had much contact with until the State started flying the cherubs to Dallas. I'm sure they equate GGP with their time with us.
I'm glad to know the babies (they're hardly babies anymore -- but they'll always be my babies) are still in the same apartment. When a package my mom sent to them at Christmas was returned twice, I was afraid they had moved or that they had been shuffled to a new family member. But Dude and Dolly are still in the same apartment with Grandma N.
I asked GGP to contact me next time she's going to go to Dallas. Getting packages to Grandma N isn't reliable. She lives in a very large apartment complex and I don't think she's willing to drive anywhere to pick packages up. I asked GGP to let me know when she's going north so I can send a package or two with her for the cherubs. She said she'll let me know when she goes next. I really hope she does.
I miss my babies.