Today I’m going to tell you a true story about a woman who grew up with a step mom and her desire to share what this woman did for her – and meant to her. It’s a story of sacrifice and service and selflessness. It’s what I would want every mother to hear and decide to exemplify.
Rachael was eight years old and her brother was four when their dad remarried. I can imagine this new woman having many dreams for her new family; dreams of laughter and traditions, loyalty and commitment. Rachael looked at me seriously and told me she didn’t make this new family easy. She was mad. A child’s thoughts must range from “Who does this new woman think she is?” to “Why can’t my daddy just love my mommy again?” Rachael said no matter how mad she was, her stepmom let her be mad. This woman allowed feelings to be processed – even though that meant she would be the one to end up hurt.
Her stepmom was careful to be respectful of the bio mom. Rachael said for many years, her Christmas presents from her dad and stepmom would say “From: Us.” She introduced Rachael and her little brother as “Scott’s kids.” Along with her respect, she also didn’t fade back into the background – she inserted herself into Rachael’s life. This woman would work long hours all week and then on Friday evening, she would go pick up Rachael and her little brother from the bio mom’s. She would then take them to the football game (their dad was a football coach) and then they would go to the assistant coach’s home for the after party.
Saturday was the day Rachael and little brother got to spend with their daddy. Sunday was church activities and a wonderful homemade Sunday dinner. Afterwards, their dad would go to school to watch the football tapes and her stepmom would pack up the kids and drive them back to their bio mom’s.
This wasn’t a court-ordered situation. This was something the stepmom wanted to do so the kids would have time with their daddy every week. It wasn’t easy. She was tired and her work load probably tripled every weekend. This went on for years.
Well, kids grow up and sometimes they realize just how lucky they were. Rachael said after she got married and got pregnant and had this perfect precious baby – she finally got it. She understood the love and nurturing she had received from her stepmom. She grasped the insanely protective feelings that flooded her towards this precious child. She realized the love and selflessness her stepmom had shown towards her. She realized the years of sacrifice and service this woman gave and gave.
Rachael and her little brother called their stepmom “MamaToo.” Their stepmom always thought the too was meant as a number two, but Rachael had the opportunity to explain that she loved her and she was their mama – also!
This woman had many wonderful qualities – had a sense of humor, she loved making people happy, she cared for others and was kind. She chose. She chose to love and mother and guide her stepchildren. She chose to step back from recognition but stepped up to parent. She left a legacy.
With tears in her eyes, Rachael said she wanted to live better to honor her stepmom – her MamaToo. MamaToo passed away in August of 2015. Thirty-eight years of blending her family. The payoff wasn’t until Rachael was older and finally understood. Thankfully, Rachael was able to share her heart and say thank you to her stepmom before she passed.
If you are in a difficult marriage, an impossible stepfamily situation, or a single mom just trying to figure things out, let Rachael’s stepmom be an example of the beauty of what can be when you stand firm, hang tough and decide – choose – to be steadfast. Proverbs 31:28 says, “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” MamaToo received that blessing from her stepchildren. It took years – but the legacy lasts forever!
Blessings in Your Blending!