We know a lovely, perfect couple, and I wanted to make sure they stayed in our family forever. In fact they are SO alike that saying their names is like saying a persons name! She is called Hope and her Husband is called Hunter. They are bubbly, witty, a total joy to be around. When our first child, Daniel was born we had no grandparents for them, as my Mum emigrated after she retired and my Husbands parents have past away, so having discussed it first with Paul, I asked Hope and Hunter if they would like to be adoptive Grandparents, they were delighted! They didn't have children of their own, they have lots of energy just waiting to be used up.
As Paul and myself are not perfect we welcomed their grandparently advise and wisdom that at times we lacked. H & H as we affectionately called them truly became a blessing to our little family, they would bless, Daniel with wonderful gifts on his Birthdays, Christmases, at Easter time and all the times in between! Then when baby Meghan came along they were wonderful to her too. In fact, Paul and myself weren't left out either, we had more gifts bestowed on us than we could ever had imagined.
The kids called them Nanny & Granddad and we called them H & H, Daniel and Meghan even had a Great Nanny (adopted) she was known to them as Great Nanny Sylvia, she was just as generous to the kids. I was SO pleased they they were in our lives forever.
Christmas was fun for the children, H & H would always come round with huge Christmas sacks, ram full with carefully chosen gifts. And even when we asked them not to get us anything, we got loads of beautiful things, and whatever sweets or chocolates or drinks that they knew we liked, they would buy them for us a gifts. Everything they did for us was special, they were just the perfect couple. And so the kids grew and our friendship deepened.
One hot summers day, they asked me to come over to their house to take a photo of their item they wanted me to put on eBay for them, as they didn't have an account. Paul and the kids decided to come along too, Paul was asleep in the front, I was at the traffic lights when, someone crashed into my car, writing it off! Hunter had chosen this car for me from a garage near their home and was able to get me £100 off the asking price, he said proudly “It's for my Daughter,” as the car before this one had been stolen and I wanted a car that car thieves wouldn't want to be seen dead in! I hadn't had it long and now it was gone! I needed a car to get me to and from work. H & H had recently told us about a claim they had made at a huge store, and the compensation they had received, we were thrilled for them, they didn't tell us the amount but from their joy, we assume it was fantastic.
Now I needed another car P.D.Q. But we had little money, and we were in debt. Yet once again Hunter came to our rescue and returned to the little garage near their home and found a similar car to the one that was written off but it was £900 no way did we have that kind of money, we would not be able to afford it! They as usual always had the solution and said they asked the man at the garage if again, he would be so kind and generous and with the circumstances of the recent car accident, would he again take £100 off, its amazing but he said, “Yes” he would, and wished us all a speedy recovery. So now the price was £800 still we were not able to buy such an expensive car, we had no funds as we were in the red! Hope said, “We will lend you £500”,and asked if we would be able to buy the car then, we said “Yes,” and we thanked them very much. So within a few days of the accident we had another car.....
H & H didn't say when they wanted their money back, and when we got paid, as all our bills are direct debit, our wage went!!! So the following month when when we got paid our plan was to give them all the money back in one lump sum but £500 is a lot of money, if we did that, we would be in SO much more debt, we feared we could lose our home! Then I remembered the lovely compensation from the store that they had told us about, so I knew they were OK financially.
A few days after this thought, I received a nasty text from H sorry Hunter, it made my heart miss a beat, it was out of character and full of sarcasm, so when Paul woke up I showed him the text and although we didn't have it, I took £500 out the bank and went over on my own to their home. Now I wished I had brought Paul with me, for it was an awful time their. I felt like I was nothing to them as I sat opposite them both, friends who I loved so dear, now seemed estranged. I didn't want to cry so I sat their and bit my lip hard, at first he said, I should keep the money! But we didn't want to keep the money and in my honesty I explained I thought they were OK because they had received the compensation from the store! But for them, that was out of the equation, I wished they had just spoken to us, instead of each other and I wished I had just spoken to them instead of assuming, between me and Hunter, and now it was too late, I knew that from this day, I would never want to go back to their house again! Never!
After chucking his money back at my feet, I picked it up as he vent his anger out at me, he didn't shout he was just hurt and Hope …. who I would have trusted with my life, had changed too, I wanted them to have their money back, I wished I hadn't borrowed it! I never wanted this to happen and now it had. What would happen next I wondered, as I left, after I'd been there about the longest fifteen minutes of my life.
I went home and told Paul all that had happened and we decided not to tell the kids. Then about a week later two letters came in the post it was addressed to to our children! They wanted our young children to write to them, giving their full address, including emails and mobile numbers! I removed the letters from them. Another time Paul got a letter from Hope ….. this we thought was strange, for I have known them both years before they knew Paul. Paul is not a letter writer. Then one day I had a phone call from Hope, she seemed like the Hope I had known before, we had a bit of a chit chat and them she dropped this bombshell, they wanted to take the kids out for the day, this was not unusual for they had taken them out many, many times but now she said she wanted us to send the children, alone from our house, for them to walk on their own and meet them at the end of our street, where they would be waiting, in their car, for Hunter didn't want to see me! I told her, “No way, if he can't stand the sight of me, then he is not seeing my kids!” In the papers and on the news at that time and still now, you hear of angry people taking their hurts out our children! I was afraid of his hate for me! If he hated me that much, that he couldn't bear to see my face, what could he do to our kids!? So that day, we sat them down and told them the whole story. Meghan said she still wanted to see them Daniel didn't! We told them both, neither of them would see them, they asked if this would be forever! I said I didn't know, but in my heart I felt it was!
It was half term, soon after this and a good friend of mine I have known and loved her years and years, she is like my adviser and counsellor and friend, the full package!. We had taken our kids to an indoor, climbing, sliding, full of coloured balls games place, where they could play safe for a couple of hours and we sat with the other parents and I told her the whole sorry story! Lots of people didn't like H & H for they had fallen out with everybody! My friend was never keen on them I had always known that, so now I had come to the end of the story and she had listen patiently and said, “So, what are you going to do now?” And I burst into tears! Because I did know, they had been in our lives years and I'd known them many years before I had even met Paul!
Hope rang me a few times, but I didn't trust her any more, she informed me Grand-grand Sylvia, was now in a home and had become forgetful, and they never did tell her about the fall-out, she had hinted that the kids may be in her Will....
I went to an event and Hunter was there, we did small talk but there was no usual hugs and lots of smiles, just formal talk, lasting about a minute. And then he was gone.
I haven't seen Hope since I last saw them in their home on that awful day! Lots of things in our house reminds us of them, the lovely chicken piggy bank they gave the kids, their laundry baskets and them not with us Christmas, Birthdays, Easter and all the every other weekends in between. But the saddest thing of all is that he …..