Sunday, May 13, 2012

Gift Parent

On a clear cool night a little more than fifty years ago, my mother died in a car accident on a lonely two lane road in New Mexico. I was ten years old and I had three younger brothers.

By the time my father remarried about fourteen months later, I was one unhappy little girl. In that period, we had moved from Arizona to Indiana--and then moved again. I was attending my second school in one year. I was mad. I was still grieving. And as often happens in such cases, my brothers and I were suffering from a lack of consistent discipline and attention.

Enter the brave soul who dared to take us on!

A step-parent has a very special role. Often they "step" into a situation fraught with chaos and pain. Initially, they may not possess much power to change those things that need to be changed. And through it all, they have to keep on keeping on. Meals have to be served. Clothing has to be cleaned. And kids have to go to school.

I call step-parents Gift parents. And I have one of my own. This year she celebrated her eight-third birthday. This year she and my dad celebrated fifty years of marriage. She has staying power.

When I brought my own children home from the hospital, she was the one who loved them and served as their Grandma. When they had birthdays, she was the one that sent them a card with a balloon and two pieces of gum inside--no matter where we lived in the country.

Today on Mother's Day, she lives 1800 miles away and I sit at home, unable to offer more than a phone call, a card, a wish that we lived closer. That, too, is part of the mothering deal...letting your children go to make lives sometimes far away. I know. My children are spread out in three different states, none near me.

I've been blessed by the two women who mothered me. They gave me a good start on life. For all they did, for all they hoped or dreamed, I give thanks. Happy Mother's Day to my moms!



  1. Happy Mother's Day, Anny. Such a poignant story.

  2. Happy mother's day! (And a special hug to the gift parents!)