, Salem, MA

December 29, 2012

Letter: Mass. grandparents need visitation rights

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

I am writing this letter to all grandparents for us to fight for a Massachusetts law to help us have visitation for our grandchildren. Grandparents and grandchildren create a chain of love linking the past to the present. That was a saying written on a rock I bought once and I believe in it. We are that chain!

Our grandchildren bring us joy and laughter, and when we start getting older, we start thinking about how much more they mean to us. We are the ones that spoil them and take them fun places and teach them the things that we learned growing up and the things that our generation went through and to help them learn from our mistakes, watching them so their parents can go out and enjoy some free time of their own.

I am one of those grandparents who has been there for my grandchild. I have bent over backward to give him his own room and a yard to play in. I had given him medicine when he was sick, I taught him how to play ball and ride a bike and taught him to go potty and rewarded him with a sticker on his chart and made a big deal and clapped and made him proud. I read him stories at night, and slept with him when he wanted someone next to him. I took on walks to parks and we fed the birds, and been to zoos and amusement parks, the Topsfield Fair every year. He was with me when he saw his first firework go off in the sky. I have taken him on the ferry boat over to Boston to the aquarium, taken him swimming in the pool and beaches. I played memory games and taught him other things. Every first Saturday of the month I would take him to the Home Depot for hands-on learning. Always made sure he made his mother a gift whether it was for Mother’s Day or a gift for birthday or Christmas. I had him enrolled in sports for basketball, T-ball, and soccer. My grandson I can say proudly that he is phenomenal at all of these sports. I was so happy to pay for them as well.

I stepped up to the plate and did everything I could possibly do for my grandson. If your son or daughter has made mistakes in their life, it is not the grandparents’ fault. I have not seen my grandson in almost two months and he will be 5 in January. I had done nothing wrong but loved and cared for and protected my grandson. What hurts me the most is I know that he is missing me and missing out on the fun we shared.

I have had sleepless nights and my days are empty for he is not in them. I only can hope that the Massachusetts laws for grandparents visitation changes for that is the best interest of a child.

Denise Hansen