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Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Tale of Two Mommies...

Our trip to Fort Worth was uneventful (thankfully) and Samantha’s testing went rather smoothly (as far as tests go). We are still waiting for all of the results to come back in so we can make the next move forward in her care.

Samantha’s step mom, Marlena, accompanied me on this particular trip.

We had our first REAL chance to bond over our three-day three-night trip.

Our relationship started out very strained because of my feelings (disgust, dislike, disappointment, anger, distrust, etc) towards Samantha’s father. We spent months tiptoeing around one another trying not to hurt feelings or start fights. Once we started to relax a little more, we discovered something quite amazing. Not only could we tolerate each other, we could talk for hours as if we had been friends for years!

I now feel like I can honestly call her my friend.

I think it is a very common fear for a divorced mother to worry that her child might one day refer to another woman as “Mom”. At one point in time, not so long ago, I would have very swiftly knocked the crap out of any woman who dared to even hope that “MY” daughter would think of her as "Mom".

However, somewhere along the line, my feelings have changed on that matter. I’m not sure exactly WHEN I became ok with the idea, but I do remember some very specific reasons WHY I am.

Marlena makes Joe (Samantha’s father) a better person. Don’t get me wrong, he is still far from where he should be, but he is much closer to it now than he has ever been before. She does not accept stupid excuses from him for why he hasn’t been to see Samantha for weeks. She does not pull punches where he is concerned, and that is exactly what he needs in a wife. (Some one to keep him in line as much as possible.)

She has an honesty about her that is wonderfully refreshing. I can tell by the way she interacts with Samantha that she genuinely loves her instead of just pretending to care like some stepparents would. She doesn’t pity my daughter for her disability; she can see the beautiful, strong child that sits behind that diagnosis. She asks questions openly with no hesitation because she wants to know more about Samantha and how to take care of her properly. (Those who ask questions about her as if they are ashamed to speak the words usually only ask out of morbid curiosity; as if my daughter were the top exhibit in a circus sideshow.) She volunteered to take Samantha to and from therapy every Tuesday, not because she HAD to, but because she WANTED to.

I can now say without any hesitation that I have absolutely no problem with someone referring to Marlena as Sam’s Mom. I have accepted the fact that another woman CAN have a major parenting role in Samantha’s life without it having any effect on MY relationship with her. I can rejoice in the fact that someone who has no blood relation to Samantha loves her as is she were her own child.

I am thankful for my newfound friend and Samantha’s other Mom, Marlena.


Laurie said...

I can only think of one word here....Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

Melissa said...

laurie - Thanks for stopping by again!

brenda said...

Melissa, I have never been prouder than I am of you right now.You have grown and matured so much over the last six years. You have become a woman to be admired and respected. Have I told you lately that you're my hero?

I love you,


oldfartswife said...

I think that Sam is lucky to have 2 caring and loving moms (who actually get along.) WOW
I wanted to ask you a question, the docs are pushing the VNS again for my son.
Knowing what you know now, and experiencing the device, would you do it again?
thanks so much

take care

Melissa said...

Mom - ::blush:: awwwww, shucks! I learned from the best. (that would be you)I love you too! :)

oldfartswife - Yes. Even though her seizures have come back suddenly three years later, I would still do the VNS again. I have had three years of reduced seizures to know the kind of life Samantha needs to have. She has been in a mainstage production (play) with myself and her little brother, she started school, she played t-ball... all things she would have been unable to do without the VNS. So with out a doubt, my answer is a resounding YES! I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Sol said...

da lil one looks happy in dis pic ;)

when u mentioned her daily food intake, i have to admit i was taken aback. at this point in time there is a severe lack of knowledge on my part as to the proper nutritional needs of a kid who thus far cannot manage 'normal foods'.

at the same time, i cannot help but wonder if there is a yet untried *middle-path* that cud illumine her requirements.

im talking bout supplements normally targeted to adults in the bodybuilding and health industry..the closest to natural of course, with least risk to her.

again, i'd need to know what her allergies + intolerances are. when u have sum time, i'd like to know...