Last week, I revealed in my post 20 Things You Don't Know About Me, that I am a product of a blended family. What exactly does this mean? Merriam-Webster defines a blended family as a family that includes children of a previous marriage of one spouse or both. I'm aware that this blended family post might hit too close to home in terms of my own family reading this, but this is something that is really important for me to share since being in a blended family has become apart of so many lives including my own. This is my story, in my own words. I hope to inspire a family or two with my experience.
(This was one of the hardest posts I had to write, and admit to the world that I love my blended family very much. You see I have a beautiful mother, I'm loyal too. I must not leave out, that when I was younger and was having a hard time dealing with my parents divorce my mother was always there. She heard my cries, and soothed my heart. My mom has been there for me through everything, and has done so much for me and my sisters. Even though, she'll never tell me how much it may hurt her feelings that I love my blended family...I try to be careful. My mom is my world, and the best woman I know.)
One of my many faults is that I am stubborn. It's a trait I coined since I was little. I have always been my own person, running my own race, and leading my own pack. When my parents separated I was naturally hurt, and angry. I won't air out any dirty laundry but lets skip to the part where I met my future blended family via my dad. If I can remember correctly, I was 15 yrs. old and not very friendly nor interested. I was the worst! I was pretty much stubborn and deflected all my anger towards my dads side. Looking back at it now, and a little bit more wise...I realize how important it was for his children to meet his girlfriend, her children and to make a good impression. Unfortunately for my dad, I didn't leave too much of a good impression, or showed any manners he and my mom instilled in me throughout the years. I'm more than sure he talked highly of me, and I left his new home with a stank in their mouths. It's something I'm not particularly proud of, and at times I can still see a little hurt in their eyes. 14 years later, and a lot of growing up, I'm a different person. I'm understanding, patient, caring, and I have opened my heart to my blended family.
Even though it was hard for me to accept my dads new life, time keeps moving. It wasn't long before my baby sisters Khloe, and Kenadie were born, and little by little something began to change in me. Now that I had 2 half sisters, things had to change a little, so I took baby steps to getting to know the mother of my sisters. I tried to be more open to spending time with my "new family". We're all a little stubborn, a little selfish in our lives, and that's exactly what I was. I was too young to understand that family should always, always be number 1. So when my baby sister Keni (3years old) asked "Are you my sissy" I felt a pang in my heart. I wanted to shout out, and ask my dad why Keni didn't know me. But as I sat there, I realized that it was no one's fault besides my own. It stirred something in me...I was their sister, and I wasn't treating them as so. Even though, I loved them it wasn't enough. It's giving up your time, it's being there, it's those bonding moments that make you a sibling. I love them so much, regardless of what anyone has to say. So I had to grow up, and quick for my baby sisters to recognize me as someone they can love, and trust...a sister.
Although, it had been a good 10 years of being a blended family...my dad and my step mom made their way down the aisle and said their I do's. Making our blended family absolutely official. They say when your in the presence of love, you can feel it. That much is true. As I watched my dad remarry I thought I'd be filled with a little sadness but what I felt surprised me. I was open, accepting, loving, and overall happy to see my dad happy. I found that it was easier to let go, forgive and love; than to be filled with hate and anger. It felt like a thousand pounds lifted off my shoulders to release what resentment I had.
Along the blended journey, somehow, some kind of a brotherly/sisterly relationship began
to develop slowly with my step brother. It was something that honestly took some time. We made our relationship the way it is, on our own, with no pressure or negativity. Year after year...deployment after deployment...visit after visit, we became what we are today...brothers/sisters. Now that we've made this relationship the way it is, I wouldn't have it any other way. We're known to do all the same things brothers and sisters do with each other such as tease, bicker, mock, fight, be silly, play, laugh so hard it hurts, embarrass each other or our other siblings, and most importantly being there.
I still have hopes that I can build a relationship with my other two step siblings, like I have with my step brother.
It's taken years, and when I say years, I really mean so many years to be at a place where we can all love like a true family. I can gladly and honestly say I cherish the times I spend with my blended family. So I have a blended family, and that means I have my moms side of the family, dads side, and my new step side...I love them all equally. It's a hard transition, but given love, time and patience, it's something that can be conquered.
The Promise by When in Rome (song above) is a song I have dedicated to my whole family.