I had a birthday on Saturday and my stepson messaged me that day and asked if we’d like to have lunch with him on Sunday. The implication was that it was for my birthday. Being a great lover of free food, I quickly agreed. The next day, we met at the restaurant at the appointed time and began what was to be a very pleasant time.
Things weren’t always so. He lost his father, whom he adored, when he was 11. The experience scarred him in ways from which he will never fully recover. I don’t mean that he’s unable to cope with life or anything, but that kind of hurt at that young of an age has permanent effects. It probably was made worse when his mother and I met a year-and-a-half later and soon married. During the confusion of his teen years, I was pretty much the evil stepdad. I think, though, that the problem was made worse by misunderstandings on both my part and his.
He began working before he even got out of high school. Unfortunately, he met a girl there who was a user of people. She liked to party and managed to use up all of his money, and what he could get of ours, before dumping him unceremoniously when his money couldn’t keep up with her desires.
A few years later, He married a girl that we initially thought would be a good little wife for him. That opinion gradually changed, though, as she always made us feel very unwelcome in their home. We noticed that whenever we visited, he was cooking, cleaning, taking care of their little girl and whatever else needed doing, while she sat on her butt smoking a cigarette, drinking coffee, watching TV and ignoring us like we were the plague. She demanded that he leave after seven years, and he finally did. A year or two later, she tried to get him back when he started dating, but he’d learned his lesson.
Then, he had a relationship with a girl who ultimately turned into a two-timing druggie/drunk. Naturally, that eventually came to an end also, but not until he’d wasted four years of his life with her.
He stayed foot-loose for quite a while after that. Then, he met a girl in a bar where he was working and started dating her. We were a little skeptical, though she seemed very nice. I told him that he was only one more bad “woman decision” from being financially ruined for life, so to be very careful. I don’t know what all happened between them, but they eventually quit dating for a while. By that time, we had gotten to know the girl and her story a little better and we really liked her. She had something the other women in his life had lacked—a good and gentle heart. I told him that if he let this one get away, he might spend the rest of his life regretting it. I’m sure my opinion had nothing to do with it, but they did get back together. They’ve been married three years now, and I think his mom and I are almost as happy about it as they are.
My stepson has turned into a responsible and successful fellow. I tell him that I’m proud of him and that I know his father would be VERY proud of him. His wife, though from a somewhat troubled and difficult background herself (including losing both parents and a sister in a very short time), has stayed motivated to make something of her life, has ended up with a PhD in nursing and has a good job at the local hospital. More importantly, she’s proven herself to be a good mother to her children and his, and a helpful and co-operative wife to my stepson (and I think he returns the favor). Not only is she sweet, she’s a lovely young lady, as well, though that’s more a blessing to my stepson than to us. (lol) We love her to pieces, THAT I know!
And so, we sat and had lunch with these two fine young folks, enjoying every minute of their company. I realize that they aren’t perfect, anymore than I am, but they seem comfortable with each other, with us and with their lives. I’m really happy for them and hope that the Lord continues to bless them. We sat and talked for several minutes after we were done eating, hating to part company with them, but we finally felt that we should free up the table for the restaurant’s sake and went our separate ways. They have busy lives, so we’ll miss them for a while before we see them again, but that will give us something to look forward to. © 2016