Today when I heard the news of the death of, Beau Biden the son of, Vice President Joe Biden, my heart grew heavy for the Biden family. I was already feeling sad for a close friend in the loss of a daughter. And as I thought of these two families grappling with the death of a child, my mind turned to my Adren.
We buried him back in 1996 and still my heart hurts at the loss of him. I remember when we found out Adren’s death was inevitable, a co-worker pulled me aside and offered some advice. Now, what she said may sound cruel, but she was exactly right in her thinking. You see, Adren was my step-son and even though I loved him as my own, my co-worker wanted to prepare me for the reactions and comments I’d receive from people when they learned of his death. She said to me, remember, you’re just a step-mother.
Her words meant, it doesn’t matter that you helped raise him, did his laundry, cooked his meals, drove him around and helped him with his homework; people will not see you as his mother because you didn’t birth him. She was exactly right. When people found out that Adren wouldn’t make it, their question was how is your husband’s son. When he died, the question became, how is your husband holding up.
Looking back, I realize very few people outside of my now ex-husband, immediate family and a few close friends understood that I hurt too. What those who didn’t see my pain don’t know is, I still struggle. It’s been almost twenty years since, Adren died and each year around the time of his death, its tough for me. My ex-husband looks for a call at that time with me usually balling on the other end of the phone. We’ve gone from phone calls to hanging out just to get me through.
There are many other men and women out there who’ve taken on the role of loving a child not naturally theirs as if he/she were their own. They provide that child or children with a stable loving home and guidance well into their adult years. You see, not all step-parents are wicked, some of us are loving.
I applaud all step-parents out there making a difference. Keep doing what you’re doing and remember you are so much more that just a step-parent. To someone you are their everything.
Savannah J. providing a place of tranquility away from the stress of life.
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