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Lunchlady 2

Lunchlady 2
March 05
I am now a widow, having laid my last kiss on my husbands brow after he died to say goodbye. Since then I have found an old note he wrote me apologizing for his meanness laying on my floor and two gold coins under my blankets, his way of saying he was sorry and goodbye. I have buried my ex husband, my baby son, my grown son, my mom and now my husband and I wish to bury no more, but life does not work that way. I have birthed 3 children and have 3 more wonderful children from my last marriage. I have 4 living children and a granddaughter I adore and I am in the process of finding me. I have no idea who I am but I have discovered I am loved and I never knew that before and it makes me smile...


AUGUST 3, 2011 3:37PM

Becoming Step Mom

Rate: 22 Flag


The Next Family 001  

Almost 16 years ago I moved a man and his 3 children into my home.

 Their mom had deserted them, possibly to get their dad out of her life I can now see, or because the drugs called to her and a 3, 4 and 7 year old took up a lot of her time.

The day I met them his daughter the 7 year old had just come home from her grandma's with her hair cut. I told her how pretty she looked and was met with an unsmiling child. Not happy I was there, not happy her hair had been cut.

The 4 year old he was the quiet one, careful, watching, uncertain of me while the 3 year old when I asked him what I should do with him, sealed our fate by replying "keep me".

My heart broke and even though there was no love, we got along, had a few things in common and these children needed a mom, so what little they had they moved in, 2 months after meeting they started their life with my family.

My family at that time was my 18 year old daughter in college who took over the master bedroom for peace and her own bathroom and the three children took one room, their dad and I the small last bedroom.

Shortly after we got together we went on a day trip. As the husband came around to pump gas I heard him saying something and got out to see what had happened. He was face to face with the kid’s mom, the mom who deserted them and left them alone for 2 days before anyone called the husband. That he had to take them that day to raise after going first to the emergency room to have a nail pulled from the 4 years old foot and then face Texas law until he could prove they were not neglected by him and gain full custody was still firmly planted in his mind. Why she too had come back to California was unknown.

As I tried to cool things down I finally did so by pointing at the back window of my car to three scared faces staring out the window. I told them both to grow up and got back into the car with the children to offer reassurance that everything was okay.

While driving home the husband mentioned that the kid’s mom wanted to see them, talk to them. I told him at our house so she would be chaperoned the whole time. I was pretty sure she didn't want them back but welfare does call to a drug addict. I had no real idea if she were still on drugs or had kicked them so I was not really comfortable with the meeting but decided she was their mom and they all deserved to decide on their own what was to be.

I prepared the children as best I could and the day she came over they all just stood huddled around me, their dad having left to go to the bar as to not be around her, I reassured them it was okay she only wanted to talk to them so they moved a bit closer.

The youngest came back over to me climbed up in my lap and whispered in my ear “Is that the mom”I could have cried right then and there and the mother bear in me wanted to scream at her to get the hell out of my house, how dare she leave these children behind, but I didn't and she left asking to see them again.

They saw her once more and then nothing until my, I should say her daughter but she is not her daughter, she is mine, pursued her after she became pregnant in a sense wanting to know why she left them, how she could leave them.

Never really getting an answer and letting it go.

I had always told the kids if and when they ever wanted to talk to “the mom” I would support them.BUT truth be told I was the winner here, except for the husband who will be gone soon enough, I have three more incredible children to add to my two birthed children and with a grand baby to boot I am happy with that part of my life.

Sometimes, hell all the time, I ask myself have I protected them enough. I don’t know, I hope I have, I have given it my all but yes their father is an alcoholic and yes he is not the nicest drunk, more of a verbal abuser than a caring father.

But if I hadn't taken them in, if I hadn't pulled them to me and instead left them to fend for themselves or end up in a foster home would they have grown up better for it? If I hadn't saved them who would have? I couldn't leave them so I embraced them as my own and became the mom I hope they needed.

If I had left them, given up and left this hateful man what would have become of them. I imagine they would have been separated from each other, one of his family members each taking one. These children are close and this would have destroyed them. How a family could do this I don't know but becoming part of my family they learned love, laughter, and that a family stays together no matter what.

My daughter is an incredible mother herself now, my 4 year old is 20 and in Japan with the Navy and my 3 year old is now 18 and struggling but clean now for 4 months with his anger issues under control almost free.

I have done everything in my power to show them what family means to me.

I hope I have done enough. 

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It sounds to me that you have done everything humanly possible and then some. Your heart must be brimming with love
rated with love
I'm sure you have done more than enough. You are a brave, strong woman. -R-
I agree with Romantic Poetess. It takes a special person to give and love as you have done in spite of the circumstances. You have a very big heart LL2.
Thanks all, I was feeling bad that I couldn't save them from there dad and reading that it could be better to set them free I was left unsettled. Like maybe I should have let them go instead of raising them around an alcoholic...I am confused right now and needed to find my way back to some inner peace.
You have done more than enough. The children know it too. It's good there are still people like you left in this world.
What a moving story about being a mother, not just a step mom. I applaud your courage and love!
You are a wonder my friend, and they could not have found a better mother anywhere, even deep in the Mother Bear woods!
I usually log on to OpenSalon JUST to see if you have posted something. I love your writing, and today especially, you never disappoint. These children are so blessed that you walked into their life and never walked back out....
Enough? So much more than many would do. Look at them and know that, dear.
bestyears, thank you for your kind words, they surprised me...
and all of you, you have made me cry and while I did not write this looking for sympathy, maybe I did looking for support that I chose the right path even if they were stuck here too. I just needed to know that they would not have been better off raised away from an alcoholic..and me.
Definitely more than enough and your heart is obviously bigger than most.

I'm a stepmother too, so I know how hard it can be. Congratulations on giving so much to these children, who are blessed to have you in their lives.
"The mom." Jesus, Terri, that says it all. Breaks my heart, too. You are the mom. And a damned good one.
Lunchlady--you did the best you could. That's all anyone can ask. You provided a home for three lost children, and gave them something they wouldn't have had--at least one responsible, loving, giving parent. Good for you. Yes, the alcoholic dad wasn't ideal, but as step mom you couldn't have moved out and taken them away from him, at least I don't think so. So you did the best you could.
Froggy, or they would have taken them away if I filed to get custody being only a step mom and telling the world the kind of father he could be. I could never take that chance although I did threaten it all the time he knew I was going nowhere.. There was no win in this situation.
Thank you everyone I am feeling better about what I have done and not as worried that they may someday wish I had set them free...
Oh, "keep me." Those two little words. Your children are so lucky you came into their lives and stayed, Lunchlady. I'm so glad your youngest is on track, and hope he stays on a good path now.
You've done so much. You are blessing and blessed.
You definitely saved three lives and countless more because of they are constructive members of society - even the 18 year old who is struggling. You'll see to it that he gets all he needs, as you have all along. I thank you and everyone else should as well.
Again I really need to thank you all you have helped me process my fears in a good way and realize I have done what I could. I know they love me and I them and we will get by...whatever life throws at us.
Those children probably count their lucky stars that you came into their lives.
You have moved mountains by me. Thanks for being such a good one and then some.
Kate, that is so horrible that anyone even a stepmom could treat a child like that! I am so sorry that happened to your son.
Jramelle, what is........I need to add that to my daily affirmations and also thank you for showing me where my thinking has gone amiss.
I had a terrible busy day but now have my 18 year old back in the high school he wanted and we are set for next week. I am beat and wish I had the energy to sit and read but tomorrow I shall so thank you everyone for your love and support.
Sometimes I just need to hear I am doing good, that slap of well done on my shoulder and you all have done that for me so again thank you!!!!
You have done everything in your power. That's all you can do. The rest is up to them. But you have handled yourself with glory.
"The youngest came back over to me climbed up in my lap and whispered in my ear “Is that the mom” "

^ my oh my. reminds me of when my adopted sister's mom came to visit her, she told my mom a strange lady is at the door.
Sorry I haven't commented sooner. I too, am a step-mom. Didn't raise these children and now fathers in their forties, I not sure about our relationship. Sometimes, I feel like an outsider and sometimes, tolerated and other times loved. I miss my own son, now grown with a family of his own. He lives away. My own daughter passed away when she was 30. And so it goes. Somewhere in the middle, or should I say muddle. I too, try to do the best I can and hope it is sufficient. Question is..for them or me?
I had to become a member to comment on this one. I did not know any of this nor do i remeber this entire situation. I did not remember she left us alone and I can't even express how confused/angry I am about that, You saved our lives you made us the people we are today my brothers are my best friends and you allowed us to be a family by ignoring your needs and desires for 16 years+ for our sakes. We can only try and tell you how much you mean to us but it doesn't amount to how we really feel about you. I love you mom. Amatiel will know you as her grandmother and she loves you with her whole heart. You are ours and I'm keeping it that way.
Lunchlady's daughter, I sure do love you! I'm glad you joined to comment and hope you stay awhile and write about your life and my grandbaby's life.
I hope you don't mind that I write about you and your brothers here, I try to write very carefully about our lives so no one gets hurt.
I love you darling daughter and do think you are the greatest mom ever and if you ever have a question about your past that I can answer just ask!
I love you, mom
Lunchlady's Daughter I ignored nothing I got more joy out of raising you than anything that I ever might have percieved Iwas missing. You three have shown me such love and trust that you have helped me grow as well. We ALL won by my taking you in...the only one who lost was your dad as he could have had a wonderful life but chose alcohol instead. I gave up nothing honey I may have held back some for our safety but I grew right along side you three. Love you THIS much :)
You don't have to censor yourself I love reading the truth and rawness of what you feel. I enjoy coming to read your are inspirational, strong, incredibly beautiful and talented and I am so proud to be your daughter.
You have done a wonderful thing in a difficult situation and I believe that you did them all much good.
What a tale, Lunchlady.
You are absolutely the best sort of human to bring in and love those children.
...and make them yours.

That's supposed to be the rest of the sentence on my comment. : )
For children whose mother's abandoned them, either emotionally, or in reality, there is a deep sorrow that cannot be fixed. Fortunately, for them, there was more love to be found than there was sorrow alone. You are the person who gave them a second chance at hope and the feeling of being loved. It isn't the same, it can't be the same, and it is something rarely honored by society. Many step parents are horrible, and the few of us who aren't have to cope with the damages done by so many before us and still try to love as we offer an alternative. I think you have been brave to do this. They were your real kids they day they chose you back.