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Painful Conversations

Posted Oct 17 2008 5:52pm
I am a stepmother of two and sacrifice regularly as any parent should for the well being of my stepchildren. I am not looking for a pat on the back, just stating the reality of the situation. No, I am not their birth mother, however, I love them and cannot imagine my life without them. In addition, I deeply desire to give birth to children as well. At 35, I realize life has altered the timing of this event, yet I stand firm in my faith. I explained all of this to set the stage for this post.

A couple of weeks ago, Muddear and I had a conversation that really disturbed me. It was not the first time. At least once a month Muddear likes to remind me that I don't have children or she likes to play down the level of responsibility I have as stepmother. In my heart, I know she does not mean any harm, but it is still painful for me. If I am honest with myself, I know the problem is mine. Yet, just once I wish that I could tell Muddear how her words really make me feel. But how do you reason with someone with Dementia? You don't.

And so the conversation goes:

"Hey Muddear!"
"Hi baby! Are you just getting home from work?"
"Yes, I am. It has been a long day and I am glad to be home."
"Are you tired?"
"Today I am. I just wanted to say hi! I'll be back, I have to change clothes."
"That's too bad, but it wouldn't be a days work if you didn't work hard and come home tired. Do you have to cook dinner?"
"Yep, I'll rustle up some dinner after I change clothes."
"You seem just like me. Go to work during the day and come home to cook dinner. At least you don't have kids."
"I have Mike and Mariah."
"Maybe so, but they ain't your kids. You didn't have them so you don't live with them or worry about them."
" Muddear, the kids are here practically everyday and yes, I do worry about them."
"That may be so, but you don't worry like a real mother who had them and think about them all the time. Like I did my own kids. You know what I mean."
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