July 26, 2010

No Evil Stepmother in This Story

My life is no Cinderella story. Sure, I met my Prince Charming, but life isn't always a fairy tale. Still, we're happy, despite the curve balls life throws us.
A little over eight years ago my mom died. A little over five years ago my dad remarried... and that same month my new stepmother found out she was going to go from having zero grandkids to having four. Some people are amazed that she so readily accepted the role of grandma-to-be and, ultimately, grandma. I say, if you're going to join a family, you might as well do it with gusto. It extends to her family, too. Her daughter refers to herself as an aunt. While her father was alive he eagerly took on the role of "great grandpa." She is the only "Grandma Smith" (not her real last name) my daughters know. When I refer to my mom, I refer to her as Grandma Karen. (My daughters are still trying to understand why Grandma Smith isn't my mom, so there's no need to confuse them further).
Her generosity goes beyond my immediate family. She has developed a close relationship with my aunt, my mom's sister. They've even shared several Christmases together. Last week, my aunt fell and was seriously injured. This led to a hospital stay for several days. The person at her bedside 24/7? My stepmom. As a nurse, she made sure she was there whenever the doctors came to discuss treatment. I say it takes a pretty selfless person to take care of your husband's late wife's sister.
Has our relationship always been picture-perfect? Of course not. It's not easy to see your parents remarry, regardless of the circumstances. It takes time to get to know someone and accept them into your life. We are lucky to have someone join our family who wants to be a part of our family and a part of our lives.


Stephanie Barr said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. It's not blood that makes you family - it's love. My eldest daughter is from my first marriage. By a freakish twist of fate, one of the women there at her birth is actually my mother-in-law now. There was never a "step grandchild" and "grandchildren" for her. My daughter was always her grandchild. Period.

And yeah, that was true even when we had fallings out. We were a package deal and she (and her entire huge family) never saw it any other way.

MaryAnne said...

She sounds like a wonderful person.

Sadia said...

Oh, how wonderful of her. And how wonderful of you to open your heart to her. I'll admit that I've never given my stepmother a chance.

Unknown said...

My daughter has just had the temerity to marry the love of her life without asking the permission of her grown daughters or her mother. I think I took it better than the 18-year-old. Girls that age think they have an exclusive when it comes to love.

Anonymous said...

Grandma Smith is a awesome lady . When she married your dad she didn't need to or try to prove herself to us..... she was just there and slowly melted into our family. I tell your dad that she is a keeper. One of the most giving (of her time) woman I have ever met. I am glad she became apart of our famliy. Natalie

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

What a beautiful post. Grandma Smith sounds like a very special lady, and I think it's wonderful that you're making Grandma Karen a part of your girls' lives through pictures and stories.

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