….excerpt from I am this Woman
I am that StepMom
I met an Angel 8 years ago. He came bursting thru my studio behind his father with energy uncontained, bright eyes and mischief. He was the image of his Father. Beautiful brown eyes, dimples and a smile that could stop you in your tracks. He also had no fear; the boy could jump off anything, turn anything into a springboard and double flip on the spot.
As Angel grew he taught me things, things about myself that I thought I had already conquered and understood.
As our time together was to be filled with trials and tribulations, it was through him that he taught me forgiveness, loyalty and family.
As Angel grew, his life grew and within it came harsh realities based on lies, deceit and much anger. His confusion was where his loyalties should lie.
We received a call one evening while in Thailand from a friend who was very concerned for Angel. He felt he was falling into the wrong hands, those that he had defiantly tried to protect, were now the ones that imposed danger. A few phone calls, a one-way ticket and a short ferry ride, Angel arrived on our island in Thailand.
There was still many questions as to why he had returned to us and so quickly, but as Angel being the loyal creature he is, answers were limited, eyes were not met. And so he began his adventure. School became not a subject of sitting in a class room but one of diving, filming and learning to ride a motorbike. He was starting to relax; he was starting to trust again.
Days turned to weeks and before you knew it, a month had passed. Calls were made and his time with us was increased, you could physically see him start to unwind.One evening I had arranged for the three of us to have a Buddha blessing at our bar and decided to celebrate with fireworks later on at the beach.
As we threw the fireworks into the air, a moments hesitation was to change all of our lives forever. His Father had miscalculated, and from that one second of hesitation his hand was ripped apart. I screamed, then quickly swore more than 100 times with the same phrase,’F$@£’…
As the smoke settled and the ringing in our ears was easing, Angel walked up to me, put his hand on my shoulder and said, ‘It will be ok’ he guided me to the bike, and I drove the three of us to the small clinic in hopes that they would be open.
His Father safely squeezed between us; we drove the steady pace back for help. All the while Angel was patting his Dad’s shoulder and whispering to him, ‘it will be ok Dad’. He was 14 at the time, but one would have said he spoke with the authority of a man way older than his time.
That moment changed our relationship forever. It was Angel and me, stepson to stepmom, friend to friend, we were shoulder to shoulder in this crisis. He never flinched once, even as his Father’s pain was so unbearable for him and we watched him deteriorate, Angel was calm, loyal and there till the end.
As his Father’s haze of pain and much-needed painkillers started to take their toll on our relationship, it was Angel who stood by my side. He was there for each Dr’s visit; laundry runs, gym sessions, food runs and a much-needed shoulder to rely on.
That explosion took us from Thailand to Scotland, where he was back to his roots. I watched this little boy become a young man who was learning that honesty was always the best policy even when the truth hurt.
Lies were uncovered, tears were shed, and the little boy grew into a man. He was now head of his school, had not only grown from this experience but had started to trust in his feelings towards me…his StepMom.
We didn’t want him to go back to Oz, but he felt he was ready. Nine months he was with us, the first time he and his Father were a real family and not just the weekend warriors. Everyone grew for the better, loved for the right reasons and trusted in our family values. His return to Oz was hard, but he wanted to prove how much he had changed. He had gone from the protector of dishonesty to the warrior of truth and wanted everyone to know it.
Our history is immense in our short time together, he is my stepson, he is my kid. We are a modern family and with it comes baggage. I am that Stepmom, who undoes that baggage and does the laundry. Cleans it up, packs it tidy and says welcome home, wherever we are, this is your home, and I am proud to have you as my own.
I am that Stepmom who knows what it is like to be a stepkid; I am that Rebel who won’t stand down to traditional ways, and I am that Pirate who welcomes castaways with an open heart on board my ship.
I am this Woman