Girls Write Out
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
See this handsome young man? He's a hero. He has been since at least the age of ten when he pulled me up a cliff in a wild cave we were spelunking after the ladder broke. Yes, he was ten at the time. Now he is an officer in the Coast Guard, works in Homeland Security, and is still rescuing people. I'm so proud of him. I'm proud of his brother, too. I'm not giving their names here, because I don't want to risk his safety in anyway.

This young man's mother is a friend of mine. She's beautiful and vivacious and has never met a stranger. At one time, I attempted to make all three of them part of my family by introducing their mother to a family member. Alas, it didn't work as I'd planned--I'm not a good matchmaker--but these people will be family to me for the rest of my life, despite of a rupture in my marriage to the father of the boys. I did not want the divorce, because I believed it would mean losing them.

But a wonderful thing occurred. The boys and I and their mother stayed in touch during and after the divorce. They came to my and Mel's wedding, and Mel and I went to their weddings and my Coast Guard's graduation from college. Their father and I retained a civil attitude toward one another. The boys, their wives, mother and Mel and I all spent Thanksgiving together a few years ago, and we attended their father's funeral, where I sat beside their mother, behind the boys, and wept for their loss.

Divorce is painful and destructive, but so is the angry end of most relationships. If you find yourself or someone close caught in the clutches of divorce, there are ways to prevent some of the destruction, especially for the sake of the children. Never forget that love transcends all. Since these boys were my stepsons and not my sons, I had no legal rights, but I did continue to include them in my life whenever I could. I'm horrible with holidays and birthdays--I seldom do much even with my own birthday--but I do usually remember theirs and let them know I remember them. I embarrass them every time I see them when a squeal of joy and several hugs. It amazes me every time how happy I am to see them. If they invite me to join them in any kind of celebration, I go. Twice, I've flown halfway across the country when asked. These young men are special to me. I've known them since they were very young little boys.

You may have had a relationship broken for some reason, be it divorce, a ruptured friendship, family disagreement. I urge you to do what you can to heal the rift, and salvage the relationships you can despite the pain of loss. My stepsons will always be my stepsons, even though their father has passed on and the boys have grown into fine men. Should you encounter the opportunity to do the same, seize that chance. Longtime relationships are worth salvaging.

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Hannah Alexander  
posted at 9:40 AM  
  Comments (6)
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At 11:10 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

A very special post, Cheryl. Thank you.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thank you, Pam. You can tell I'm proud of my stepsons. They're worth it all.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Jackie Smith said...

This is special to me as my only grandson is growing up in a divorced home. I pray when a step mom or step dad enters the picture, he/she will be as loving to him as you are to your step sons.

At 10:01 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

LOL. Jackie, my stepchildren were like playmates for me. Their poor mother took the brunt of things, because I was not a good mother figure. I showed them how to go water-ballooning on Halloween, and I accidentally painted their faces green with food coloring that wouldn't come off. Then, of course, I sent them back home corrupted. Their mother was a saint.

So sorry about your grandson. Pray that he'll find friends in his steps. He doesn't need another mother or father, he needs a friend.

At 6:49 PM, Blogger quietspirit said...

My relationship with my stepmother grew as I matured. When my dad and she took turns being ill with life-threatening disease, we all became extremely close. My husband and I still miss her. If it wasn't for her and her sister, I wouldn't have had the privilege to act as caregiver for my dad,then her, then my dad, then her.

At 9:57 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Your stepmother probably matured as she aged. We all do stupid things when we're young that we regret later. But relationships can be better if you weather the storms. Steps can be a blessing.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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