"It was a phone call I never thought I’d have to make."
It was a phone call I never thought I’d have to make. "Can you come down as quickly as possible. We’re in Intensive Care."
Ringing your ex-husband is never easy. There are always so many different emotions. But there are times – and this was one of them – when something happens to put it all into perspective.
Our granddaughter had been rushed into hospital with a rare family seizure condition. She was just five days old. My first husband and his wife had come down to visit her only 48 hours earlier. I'd met them in the hospital and we'd exchanged civilities. But now we had to work together as a team. The four of us. My ex's wife and my newish husband.
For the next few days, my first husband and I took turns in supporting our daughter and her husband. Together we sat by our little granddaughter's cot and watched the lines on the monitor. Past grievances faded into insignificance. Nothing could be more important than this tiny person whom we had helped to create.
There are always so many different emotions. But there are times – and this was one of them – when something happens to put it all into perspective.
At times, we found ourselves sitting in the visitors' lounge. "How is your father?" asked my ex. It seemed surprisingly easy to catch up after 10 years of being apart, perhaps because a hospital makes you realise that we all have a limited time in life to make our peace.
Since then, our granddaughter has been in and out of hospital several times. Despite this, she is ahead of her milestones and is incredibly bright, happy and alert. "She is an old soul," observed a very spiritual friend of mine. "Her purpose is to draw you all together."
Some might scoff at this. But it appears to be true. My first husband and his wife now regularly come to stay in the area. We have meals together and we talk on the phone. I am lucky enough to live just round the corner from my granddaughter so I send regular pictures. Her arrival in our lives has created a bond which, until recently, I could not have foreseen.
It’s a good feeling. I’ve also learned to genuinely like my first husband’s wife. At the christening, we worked together as a team, washing up and handing out food. Afterwards, my past and present husbands swapped notes on CD collections.
But best of all, our granddaughter has six sets of grandparents (including my son in law’s side). How lucky is that? She will never be short of people to love her. She will not have to cope with the grandparent acrimony that bewildered my own children. My own parents divorced when I was 19 and never spoke to each other again. She’s taught us to reunite as a family. Thank you.
Jane Corry is the author of My Husband’s Wife, published by Penguin Viking and available on Amazon.
What a truly heartwarming story. And yes, I do believe that everyone has a purpose in this life, but it's not always so startlingly clear to others what that purpose is. Your little granddaughter has managed to do a wonderful job at such a very young age. What an achievement!
Lovely story and lucky lttle girl to have such a loving and caring family. There is always hope and I do believe in fate. My ex didn't speak to me again after we split up though I would have liked to have been friends for the children's sake, he died suddenly 4 years ago and I hate the fact that we never spoke even though we had a shared history and children together. I get on well with my 2nd DH's wife and we can quite happily spend special occassions together at the kids houses with the grandchildren.