Saturday, May 05, 2007


My thoughts for the day seem to be centered around loving my "step father." In the past I've felt incredibly conflicted about loving him. You see, he's not really my step-father. He and my mother never married. Although they did live together for over 18 years. Initially, when they got together I was angry. I was angry at my mother for finding someone else to love so quickly after my father died. I thought she should not have done so. I was angry at him for moving into the space my father occupied in my mother's life and I was especially angry at my mother for inviting him to move into my childhood home with her.

For years I was angry for those reasons. It took a long time and a lot of therapy for me to stop being angry and bitter at my mother and at him. I came to accept him as a good and kind and loving man who truly loved my mother. He never acted as if he wanted to replace my father. In stead, he loved my mother and tried his best to take good care of her. In turn, she loved him and tried her best to take good care of him.

Undoubtedly they had their troubles, just like all couples do. But when things were the most difficult, they were there for each other. And, he was there for my mother during the most difficult times when her health was at her worst.

My siblings and I have silently agreed that he is a part of our family. We did that many years ago. And we act as if he and my mother were married. When major decisions about my mother's care needed to be made, we included him in the process.

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Elisabeth said...

First of all, did you notice that you seem to have a double post here?

Good entries about the first anniversary of your mom's death, and on your "step dad." It led me to think a bit about my step dad and my own mother, with whom I have a rather problematic relationship.

My father died in 1993, my mother was then 71. Less than two years later, she met a man who was nine years older than her. Soon thereafter, they were an item. Because of some quirkiness in the French inheritance laws, my mother and this guy never married until my mother's 81st birthday. I met him for the first time when I visited my mother in 1997, I believe, and liked him right away. I never had any problem with my mother "replacing" my father, who was a very difficult man who had made her life miserable for pretty much the 50 years of their marriage. My brother's reaction, however, was very different from mine, and he dislikes our stepfather immensely.

My mother is also a very difficult, extremely self-centered woman, who causes me quite a bit of grief. I believe that I get along with her only because I live so far away from her. I often wonder how I will feel when she passes away. For the time being, I have no clue. I suspect that I will feel a void in my life, but that I will also get a sense of relief.

Rosie said...

Sue, I'm glad you seem to have found some peace and can take joy in the relationship you have with your stepdad now. What people do speaks more to us than what they say.

My Dad has made some horrendous choices since Mom died. He's dating (again) a woman who's my age and that he met in a bar. Nice isn't it?