Friday, February 26, 2010
February 23rd was a happy day, because it was my daughters birthday but it also turned grim. My sister and I got word that our step mother passed away. Even though she battled cancer for about 10 years, she was a vibrant person full of love, like I've never seen before. She was such a wonderful and loving mother to our half brothers, they truly were so very fortunate to be raised by a woman like that. It's always rough when there's a divorce, custody issues and remarrying. But once you gain a step parent, you hope that they accept you and treat you like their own children. And I have to say, that she did just that. She was always so warm and caring towards me and my sister, that we didn't want to visit my father unless she was going to be there. During our visits (though sometimes few) when we were growing up and even into our adult lives, we spent them having conversations, that lasted hours with her. She always encouraged us to keep seeking out our father, in spite of his old Mexican macho ways. My father isn't the type to go looking for his children, he waited for his children to look for him. Which of course isn't something that a child can understand, so of course, we grew up with a different view of the situation. The only person that spent years trying to bring us and our father closer, was my step mother. Although unsuccessful, I truly appreciate her effort. We were fortunate enough to have one last conversation with her, on her death bed and believe me, it was one of the hardest things, I've ever done. We remembered how we use to ask her to be our mother and so not wanting to step on any toes, she would agree to be our "pretend mom". I would ask her if we could live with them, very often. I'm sure not because we wanted to live with our father but because we wanted her as a mother. Our own mother, wasn't much of a mother and our step father was a horrific nightmare, which is why we appreciated her so much. I remember leaving my fathers house many times, thinking "Why can't our mom be like her?!?!" She always told her son's how much she loved them, she was always hugging them or kissing them on the cheek, to the point where they would say to her "Aww mom! Not again!". I think I envied that, at times. Because we never had that in our own lives. While we sat at her bedside, many things were said but one thing that just brought me to tears, was when she told me that she could tell I was trying to be a good mother! Coming from a mother like that, it meant so much that she could see that. I could only HOPE, that I am half the mother she was. As a mother figure, she is the person that my sister and I look to for inspiration. After that conversation, my world was so much more clearer. Not only was I happy that someone could see my efforts but I was actually confident that I would be the best mother I could be. She had faith in me and now I have faith in myself. I've cried for so many reasons, these past couple days. For one, my heart breaks for my brothers, who have just lost the mother they adored so much. For the fact that I will never be able to have a long conversation with her again, where I would vent about my mother and her awful ways. For the fact that the one person who kept trying to bring our father and us closer together, is gone and now I fear it may never happen. I'm sad that my son never got to know her and experience her warmth, like my daughters have. Even though we hardly saw each other, when we did, I felt welcomed and loved. At this point, I don't care who doesn't like what I do, who thinks they're better than me, who form opinions about me, when they don't know me, I'm just not sweating the small stuff anymore. I was fortunate enough to know this loving, beautiful person and that person thought I was doing a good job. That makes me feel so happy and honored, that the only way for me to show my gratitude, is to make sure I stay on the path that I'm on. I'm sure I can speak for my sister, when I say, how privileged we are to have known her and how much we'll miss her! Rest in peace Chiquis.