Over the past four months since my husband’s death, I have had several conversations with people who commented on his relationship with the sons I had from my first marriage. My husband and I married when my children were 8 and 5. The boys’ biological father had abandoned them when they were very young. I think I decided to marry my husband after seeing what an incredible father-figure he was to my sons, even while we were dating. One of the boys even told me to hurry up and marry my husband, so he could call him Dad.
And what a Dad he was. He was the only father they knew as they grew up to become fine young men, with children of their own. He was there for them every step of the way. He was their best supporter, their mentor, their friend. I couldn’t have asked for a better man to help me raise these children.
It is especially heart-warming, and definitely helps as the family goes through the grieving process, to hear people comment on the obvious love that was shared between my husband and our sons. And yes, I call them our sons because they never considered themselves step-sons. They were sons, pure and simple.
It’s wonderful to hear comments shared by family and friends, who have been part of our lives for so many years, about how apparent it was that our sons dearly loved their father, and how he reciprocated those feelings. And now, as the boys go through the rest of their lives, they take with them the gifts he left them with: the gift of being their father, the gift of a marvelous childhood, the gift of love, the gift of years of happy memories.
So, to those of you who are part of a blended family, I urge you to cherish the relationship between child and step-parent. Years from now, you may be glad you did.