Last night on our way to Huntington Beach for Christmas, the PF and I had a typical mis-communication. When we travel we most often argue about treats for the kids. He likes to buy them a lot, I like to be more frugal and let it be a more special occasion. Its been a while, but it happened. He asked me what I thought about letting the kids get a soda and snack at a place we frequently stop. I thought not because we needed to eat dinner. After we pull away, he lets me know that he and Eva had talked about getting this special root beer there. I was really upset by this. Because now I was the reason that Eva didn’t get the thing she and her father had already talked about getting. And from having what I thought of as a wicked step mother, I knew that this was one more time where she didn’t get what she wanted because of me.
When I tried to tell David that she would see me as a Demon, he totally rejected the idea. There was no way that she could possibly see me that way. Mostly because he is looking through his own rose-colored glasses. But with him having parents that were married until his dad passed. How could he ever even know what it was like? Funny the things that are coming up this Christmas.
This morning via Facebook, I just got word that my step mother is likely to pass out of this world. It brings up so many emotions that I can’t even describe them. As a kid, there were many times that I wished she would die. She was a hard and strict woman most of the time. She was beautifully generous other times. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that the cards were stacked against her.
She grew up in an abusive family. She was taken in by a man who rescued her, then was utterly unavailable and literally made her feel crazy. She was convinced to take my sister and I in to their home, when she really wanted to start a family of her own. She then acted out against us in all of that craziness.
As a woman now, and as a stepmother myself, I know so much better what she experienced. I know that a man can literally make you feel like YOU are crazy—even when they are cheating and wrong doing. I know how hard it is to blend families. The kids are resentful and its hard for you not to be.
Linda taught me so much. She taught me how to clean a house (the entire house had to be cleaned EVERYDAY (bathrooms, vacuuming, kitchen floor mopped, dusted), she taught me to do laundry, she taught me to iron, she taught me to cook a basic meal, she taught me how to bake, how to decorate a cake (though nothing like the incredible and beautiful cakes she used to make—she was truly inspiring), she taught me to make ginger bread houses in production, which taught me planning, logistics, timing, scheduling, she taught me that special occasions should be special: you should look your best, have your best manners.
But mostly with all of those extremes, in a way I believe she helped me later to find balance. She helped me understand that kids can be responsible for helping the family. She taught me that I didn’t want to be a woman who just accepted her fate the way she did. That I could find something better and more fulfilling. That I didn’t want to try to make myself perfect, and the house perfect, and the kids perfect, and the dinner perfect in the hopes that my husband would notice me. She taught me that I want to be there for the kids in my life. To let them know WHEN to work hard, and when to play.
While there were many time I wished you weren’t in my life, Linda, I thank you now from the bottom of my heart for sharing with me all of your lessons. I hope that you find the peace and love in the afterlife that you have always deserved. Love, Rachel