Friday, May 1, 2009

Proud Stepmom Moment

So I was chatting with M, my older stepson. And I said to him, "M, you know that our family is unique. Most step families aren't as close as we are. I even have a stepmom that I can't stand. Many stepmoms aren't happy to be stepmoms, but I really love you guys and I am dedicated to being your stepmom." He said, "I know what you mean. My friend at school told me the other day about something her stepmom did and she said that she hated her stepmom. And I said, 'Really? I love my stepmom. We're pretty close.' "

Can I just tell you that my heart stopped.


I am happy.

Super Stepmom

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Boys Have a Bunk Bed...

in their bedroom.

After a week of being here for Spring Break, I went in to clean up, even though they had "cleaned" the room. I grabbed a blanket off M's bunk; he sleeps on top, and began to fold it. I reached up to place it on his bed and I got the subtlest whiff of little boy smell. I mushed my face into the mattress. I took a deep breath, and when I exhaled a long, lonely, echoing sob escaped my throat. It welled up from down in my soul somewhere. I think, perhaps it was hiding in my foot all day.

In their room, I am surrounded by their toys, clothes, messies, blankets, smells...and sometimes it is all too much. Mostly, I keep the doors to their room shut. They have one that leads to the hall, and one that leads to the living room. I pretend like that room isn't really there.

After a visit, and they are gone, I clean it spic and span. Sometimes, when no one is looking, I sit in there in the middle of the floor and stare at their things. I wonder what kind of men they will become. I worry. I dream. I give thanks. I sob. I miss them. I treasure them. I hope for them. I want good things for them. I need them. I hope they need me.

When they are gone, I miss our family. When they are here it is so crazy making. It is almost too much. I have to depoof when they go. On some level, I am a touch relieved. Then, usually within a few hours, I hear the silence. It is deafening. Then I just cry for the family I wish we could be. We've lost so much time together this last year and a half - ever since the custody agreement changed and we lost time with the boys. They grow and we miss it. They change and we miss it. They do something wonderful at school and we miss it. They make a new friend and we miss it. They play sports and we miss it. G has a band concert and we miss it.

No wonder I commit the sin of coveting on a daily basis where they are concerned. I covet our time with them and I covet all the time that "she" gets that goes unappreciated and unnoticed.

I miss the boys. This constant "missing" is wearing me out. I'm not sure how much longer I can go on missing them. Someday, I will have to come to terms with the way things are in our lives with regards to the children. We have been relegated to being nothing more than visitors in their lives. That's what the court calls it when we see them - "visitation!"

I am a great stepmom, but perhaps this is so because I have no choice but to cherish every second I have in that roll. Maybe God doesn't think I'd be a good full time stepmom?? Maybe I'm not up for the task. Maybe I am and such questions are pointless. All I know for sure is that things are the way they are and my constantly rebuking reality will not ammend a darn thing. No point in asking God's purpose in this either. It just gives me another excuse to make myself crazy wondering with what-if's, and would'v, could'v, should'v's.

So, I'm back to square 1, again! Just contine to be Jenjen, superstepmom and love my kids despite our familial circumstances.

A few weeks ago, M patted his dog on the head and said, "Pretty great dog!" Then he patted me on the hand and said, "Pretty awesome stepmom." That made all the grief, struggle and sacrifice worth it. That one second, briefly stated comment is not one I will soon forget.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Genesis 22:1-18

God commanded Abraham, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." Abraham did as he was instructed. His son Isaac asked, "The fire and wood are here...but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" Abraham replied, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." Such faith in the midst of such a trial. Considering what Abraham had been told to do by God, this pronouncement of unwaivering faith on Abraham's part is almost bold.

The tension of the story begins to mount. "When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, 'Abraham! Abraham! 'Here I am,' he replied. 'Do not lay a hand on the boy,' he said. 'Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.' "

Isaac was spared at the last moment and not a second too soon. So the angel of God calls to Abraham and says, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."

And so, God keeps his promise to Abraham. God asked for Abraham's most sacred treasure, his son. As I sat in church today listening to this scripture I couldn't help but here the Lord talking to me about my 3 precious angel babies. My priest, in his homily today said, "God asks for our most precious things, whether it be a child, a wife, an addiction, a hobby, a career, etc. He created humanity for Him, to serve Him."

He created us to be like him; in the world, but not of it. How do I translate this to my life? Like this: "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you, Jenny, have done this and have not withheld your Tanner, your only son, your Allison and Gracie Mae, your only daughters, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."

Today God clearly called me to let go of my most precious things, be obedient to Him and His will, and consecrate their lives to Him. My soul says yes, but my mind says no. Faith is the bridge that will close the gap between my body, which mistakenly thinks it is of this world, and my spirit, which knows I am only in it for a temporary, fixed time. I have faith I will be reconciled to God.

Super Stepmom

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Anonymous Letter

How easy it for those who have been richly
blessed to cast a critical eye upon
my grief and say, "Count your blessings."

Dear Well Meaning Person,

Please do not tell me you understand if you have not walked this bumpy, pock-marked road that I must navigate. My faith journey has brought me here and that is that.

And yes...I AM GRATEFUL FOR MY STEPSONS! They mean the world to me and I would give my life for them. But they are not responsible for alleviating the grief and pain I experience as a result of 3 miscarriages. Grieving those losses does not mean I don't every day thank God for the gift of M and G in my life. I cherish every second I have with them the same way I would have cherished any of my 3 babies I carried in my womb, had they lived.

Please, unless I ask you for it, please keep your advice, warnings, and suggestions to yourself. Just "relaxing" won't fix my problems and allow me to magically get pregnant and give birth sans any problems. And I already know about the "adoption option." Truly, I am not ignorant. And some days I am incredibly sad, this does not mean I think my whole life sucks, so stop telling me to find the silver lining. If you have lost a child or experienced a pregnancy loss, you would not say such things and further shred the already fragile, torn apart heart of a grieving mother. And yes, I'm old enough to know that death is a part of life. I don't need to hear your cliches and you don't have the magical words to make me snap out it. And despite what you may see or think you see, I don't need to pull myself up by my bootstraps and get on with it.

This isn't some silly, arbitrary, no-biggie type of thing.

3 of my children are dead!

That will always be with me. Some days it is huge. Some days not so much. But it will never leave me and I will never forget and pretending like it doesn't hurt so you don't have to be uncomfortable around me will only make matters worse.

If it is okay by you, I would like to just be me. I would like to be Jenny with all the good and bad that entails. Today I grieve, tomorrow I may be fine. Now I'm in a time of darkness, but for the next few days or weeks I may be all sunshine and giggles. I do sometimes have a respite from my pain.

If you can't handle me when I'm down, I can respect that. But then...I don't need fair weathered friends either. Love me or don't. Your choice. But don't place your expectations upon me then feel gipped when I don't take your pontificating advice.

You be who you are, the mother of a beautiful child, and I will be who I am - jenjen, Super stepmom...and mom to 3 angel babies who are never forgotten and never far from my heart.

Super Stepmom

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What's Wrong With Me?

So I'm watching Oprah and there is this heroine addicted, pregnant woman on the show. Can I just tell you how much this pisses me off!

So let's get past the most obvious part of this conversation: No I don't wish her baby to die. And I don't wish she'd miscarry. I want the child to live. I wouldn't wish the pain of child loss on my worst enemy.

I was so careful when I was pregnant. I don't smoke or use any tobacco products. I quit drinking socially when I was pregnant and I even quit all forms of caffeine. I stuck the list of things not to eat (deli meats, fish, un pasturized cheeses) on my fridge. I excersized moderately. I ate well, and I ate often. I made sure to sleep as much as I wanted, and I avoided climbing up on things (like chairs and ladders), and took all my vitamins faithfully every day. I was the freaking poster girl for pregnancy.

What I was confronted with was 3 miscarriages. I did everything right. But still...I was left wondering, what did I do wrong?

Then I see this woman on this show and I just want to blow a gasket!

When I found out I was pregnant the first time I was so happy, and honored. Honored that God would choose me, of all the women in the world, to be a mother. I was so blesssed. So grateful. My joy was indescribable. God had faith in me and I was going to show God my gratitude by taking the most excellent care of myself. This baby was my special gift from God and I would shout it from the mountain tops!

3 miscarriages I sit writing this blog. And I see this pregnant woman abusing her body in a most unholy way, and after my initial anger fades into the background I begin wishing only good things for her. Praying for her and her child that she can find and maintain recovery.

Then I turn my thoughts inward. And I see myself standing before the Lord, like a small child and I pitifully ask...

"Why was I not worthy? What's wrong with me?"

Jenny, Super Stepmom

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I am Jenjen - Superstepmom!!! I will fell any foe that tries to hurt my stepsons! (Okay...I'm a bit of a dork too.) I am the kisser of booboos, buyer of needless things just because, and I am able to come up with a pun at a moment's notice to turn a frown upside down!

I'm Jenny - 38, and married to the love of my life "Mr. X." I have 2 beautiful stepsons. "M" is 13 and "G" is 10. They live primarily with their mom and we visit them at least once every month and for extra time during the holidays. This blog is a tribute to the 3 men in my life who mean more to me than anyone or anything else in the world.

I cherish my stepsons every day. After 3 miscarriages I have come to realize they will be the only children I will ever know this side of heaven and I have come to appreciate the precious gift they are to me. This blog is bittersweet. It is a way for me to celebrate the family I do have, and mourn the 3 children I have lost. I have known great joy, but do not think I could define that feeling as well as I do now if great tragedy were absent from my life. So my life's work is to become the best stepmom, wife, and ME that I can be so I can better serve my family. And somewhere in all this mess perhaps I can find a way to reconnect with God other than yelling at Him and railing against Him for the tragedy and pain in my life.

My boys call me affectionately, "Jenjen." No one else is allowed to call me that except for Mr. X. When they were little, I met them when they were 6 & 8 respectively; they weren't sure what to call me or how to introduce me to their friends. Their dad and I were engaged so, I was his fiancé, but they didn't want to say, "this is my dad's fiancé." I was more special to them than that and it was inappropriate for them to call me Mom.

A couple of times they had called me "Jenjen." So I said to them both, "I am your special Jenjen and I belong to you! I will always be your special Jenjen." And so, that is how they introduced me to their friends. "This is MY Jenjen,” they would say proudly to everyone! Aaaaahhhh! I was a part of something bigger and more special than I could have ever imagined. I had a family and an identity that went beyond the bounds of just me. I was special. I was a stepmom and a Jenjen. It doesn't get any sweeter than that!

Super Stepmom