ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON THOUGHT CATALOG
Six months after my mom passed away, I found out that my dad started seeing someone new.
To say the least, devastation was an understatement. At 15 years old, I naturally thought I knew everything there was to know, and I was especially sure that I was in the right by having every reason to hate this new woman in my dad’s life.
Just because my mom is buried in dirt doesn’t mean the relationship my dad had with her should be buried in a graveyard either. How dare this new woman come into our lives and try to be something she’s not and will never be?
These were my thoughts for years.
Six years later, and I’m about to spend my first Mother’s Day with a step-mother.
I can’t take back the times I broke my dad’s heart over yelling and screaming about his new love life of which I was in complete disapproval. I can’t take back the tears, the fights, the screaming, the words, and the actions that six years later have left me disapproving of my old self more than I ever felt about this new woman to begin with. And trust me, that’s saying a lot. I wanted to put Nair in this woman’s shampoo. Side-note: I swear, I would never EVER do that to someone, because despite my less than credible rationale at 15 years old, I realize absolutely no one on this Earth deserves something that terrible.
But while we’ll never be able to take back the things in life that were said and done, it’s never too late to reevaluate and compensate for what we can’t make up. Just because my mom has been laid to rest doesn’t mean my dad’s love life should be buried in a graveyard. How dare I act likewise?
These are and will be my thoughts for the years to come in this new-found relationship.
My stepmom will never replace my mother. Just because one of the loves of my father’s life has died, doesn’t mean their love died. However, my stepmom has become the step my dad was able to take in order to continue living his life in the present, instead of being hung up on someone who has become a ghost of our past.
So to every stepmom on Mother’s Day, thank you. Thank you, whether or not you were already a mother or simply became one when you joined a family and created a new one. Thank you for being an extra step of maternal guidance, something that is practically impossible to live without.