When I met my husband, I was so naive. Or maybe I was in denial, who knows. Several people warned me about becoming involved with someone who had so much "baggage." But, the fact that he was 14 years older than me, had been married twice previously and already had children didn't bother me in the least. I knew right away that he was special and I wanted to spend every minute with him. I didn't know we would end up married, but I will never regret that decision. He is truly wonderful, and I love him dearly.
The problem is that when it comes to my step children, I am learning things about myself that I am not proud of at all. In the beginning, I put alot of effort into making sure they liked me. They all lived hours from us and we didn't see them that often, but when we did I would spend alot of time with them. Taking them places, buying things for them, etc. , At one point after we were married, his oldest came to live with us. I believe he was 12 or 13. I was the one who helped with the homework, drove him wherever he needed to go, took him shopping. And then, I overheard him talking to his mother on the phone . Turns out , "Heather is annoying and her kid is a brat." I tried to make myself think that he was just a preteen trying to let his mom know that she couldn't be replaced in any way. But, I was very hurt when I heard that. And, I admit afterwards, I put less effort into my relationship with him. For various reasons, he went back to live with his mom a few months after that. Fast forward to today. He is 17, and has always had it rough with his mother. She makes it obvious that he has been nothing but a thorn in her side since birth. He was a preemie and to be honest, has always been a little slow. And, he is easily influenced. For some reason, he just gravitates toward the wrong people. He has dropped out of school, moved out of his mother's home and is now sitting in jail. There is a very good chance that he will be court-ordered to come and live with us. Ugh.
My husband, bless his heart so desperately wants to help his son, to try to turn this kid around. Understandably so. I can't imagine what he has been feeling knowing his son is getting in over his head and we are 6+ hours away. He has always missed his kids and of course would jump at any chance to have them live with us, or help them in any way. Again, very understandable. The problem is that I am selfish. I want to support my husband, and try and help this kid. But, at the same time I don't want to share. I don't want to be a parent to someone who doesn't even like me no matter how much effort I make. I don't want to clean up after a sloppy teenager, deal with the nasty attitude, deal with an ex-wife, and just in general have my life change in any way for the worse. I don't want a bad influence around my girls. But, I also don't want my husband to resent me if I refuse to let him come here. Now, it could be said that I knew what I was signing up for when I got married to a man with all the "baggage." And, yeah maybe I did. But, as I have said, the kids lived so far away, that we saw them 2-3 times a year and really that didn't effect things too much. Naive or denial? Still don't know. I just have knots in my stomach and am sick about this. I am very disapointed in myself right now. Any decent person would just make the decision to help a troubled teenager and not be upset at how much it would change her comfortable life. Not something I am proud of, but there it is.
We spent all day today in my husand's hometown for a memorial service. You know those wonderful older people who are no relation to you, but for some reason you call them "uncle" or "aunt?" Well, my husband's "uncle" Willard passed away on Tuesday. He was 86. He was an extraordinary human being. I can't think of him without smiling. He was only about five feet tall, and was so mild-mannered. He had a gentle voice and was just a gem. He and his sweet wife were married for 62 years. Isn't that just incredible? Aunt Dottie is such a tough lady, but I could tell she is exhausted. My heart broke watching her today. Greeting so many people and trying to keep a smile on her face. I managed to stay dry eyed until she was presented with the flag at the ceremony (Willard served in WWII). I could hear her sobbing in the front of the church and I just lost it. I worry about how she will cope. We will all miss him dearly, but can you imagine being married for 62 years and then being alone? Oh my, my heart just aches for her.
Willard, you were an angel on earth and now you are an angel in Heaven. We love and miss you.