Monday, February 13, 2012

Word of the day: love

Love: (n) a profoundly tender affection for another person. Love: (v) to have love or affection for.

There is a lady in my life.

She's been a part of my family for the past 20 years.

I cannot say we were close when I first met her. It was right before I became a teenager, and I don't think I made the transition very well from having my mom living with me in my house to suddenly having a new stepmom living with me in my house instead.

We fought our battles, to be sure. I sulked and pouted and stewed, and I don't know what she did but if I was her it would have involved a lot of alcohol and swearing behind closed doors. She made sure I had breakfast on the table every single morning before school, and she made sure I had something to eat for lunch at school every single day, and she made sure we had a wholesome dinner on the table every single night. She washed my clothes - no telling how many pockets full of M & M's she had to scrape out of the washer and dryer from my pants (yes, people...I emptied bags of M & M's into my pockets so I could stealthily eat them during class). She cleaned my messes, listened to hours upon hours of me playing the piano, and put up with my foul teenager attitude. She shuttled me back and forth to school and work, asked me a million times a day if I had homework, and once even reminded me that she wasn't eating my underwear (seriously).

I lost my mom to cancer when I was 19. She was the best mom she could be and I loved her fiercely, and I miss her to this day, 13 years after her death. Nothing I say in this blog is to take away from my mom, because I know she loved me the best way she knew how and that she did her best to do right by her kids. That being said, it was kind of jarring for me to realize that as of the 29th of this month, my stepmom will have been in my life for longer than my mother was able to be.

Now, my stepmom is fighting a battle that may have broken someone without her inner ferociousness. She is an incredibly strong, determined woman who is taking this disease by the horns and doing her level best to kick it in the balls. I don't have the words to adequately convey to her how much I HATE, with all of my heart and soul, this illness that has stricken her. I am thankful for the support and love that she has behind her and I only wish I lived closer or could somehow do something to make things easier for her.

I guess I just want to be able to tell her, I noticed. I noticed all of the things you did for me. I appreciate them more than I know how to say, especially now that I am a mother and I know how much endless, unappreciated work it takes to raise kids. I can look back and see how much you had to do for a girl who was quite snotty and ungrateful a lot of the time. And yet, you still did it.

All of this is to say, I'm pulling for you. I'm praying for you. I'm hurting for you and my dad as you guys fight through this. I know I haven't always been the easiest child (and I'm pretty sure you just snorted with laughter at that understatement) but I hope you know that I love you, a lot. I'm thankful to have you in my life and I'm thankful that you are my kids' Ninny.

Fight on, sister!