To My Stepdaughter’s Grandmother

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for being a wonderful
grandmother to my stepdaughters, thank you for being someone they love
and feel safe with. Thank you for making your home into their third
home. Thank you for being there for them in every way you can. Thank
you for being a happy and optimistic woman, thank you for opening your
heart to love and joy even when life has been unfair to you.

You are my future husband’s ex-mother-in-law. But I never think of you
that way. I met, bonded, and fell in love with your granddaughters (and
their father) and came to know you through them. In my mind, you are
“Grandma,” someone that my stepdaughters talk about with adoration.
They smile and their eyes light up whenever they speak of you. That’s
all I really need to know, because I am always grateful for anyone who
can make my girls happy.

I could talk about those girls all day, just tell neverending amounts of
stories about how exciting, fun, creative, smart, clever, cute, and
active they are. But what friend wants to sit around and listen to me
share anecdotes about the kids endlessly? I realized one day that you
would. You are the only person in the world with whom I could sit and
discuss those children all day (and I mean ALL day!) long, because we
both love them that much.

It is heartbreaking to watch the ways in which their mother’s mental
illness affects those girls. But as hard as it is for me, I know it is
even harder for you, because she is your daughter. I try to hold on to
my faith that everything is meant to be, that there is a higher power
holding more wisdom than we have, and that for everything in life there
is a loving reason, even if we can’t see it today. Those girls were
meant to have this mother and no other mother. When it seems as if her
own self-hatred is breaking her daughters’ spirits, I try to hold on to
this faith even though I don’t understand it. It’s hard, and I don’t
always succeed in finding the bright side of things. I remind myself
that it is naive and unrealistic to expect a sick person to behave as if
she were well. You have come to a deeper understanding of this than I
have, and I know you have had many more years than I to arrive at that
place. I admire you for it, and I admire your persistent determination
to build for yourself a balanced life with a bright future. Your
granddaughters are better for it, we are all better for it.

Thank you for appreciating me, and thank you for being who you are.
Knowing that my stepdaughters have you in their life brings me joy.

With love,
Your Granddaughters’ Stepmother

~ by Jacquelyn Fletcher on January 23, 2009.

One Response to “To My Stepdaughter’s Grandmother”

  1. How wonderful that this woman is inclusive of you and understanding of the situation!

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