I can still remember the conversation that we had almost five years ago. My oldest son had just turned eighteen and was preparing to start his career in the Army. We had just finished a three mile run together and were walking to cool down. I stopped him mid-stride and asked him if we could talk.
“I’m sorry,” I began, “if you thought I was too hard on you.”
He turned to me and said, “Mama, you don’t have to be sorry. I know you just wanted and still want what’s best for me.”
When my kids were younger, I used to have this fear. I think at some point, all stepmothers have the same one. One day, one of the children that you love as your own will turn and look at you and shout, “You’re not my real mom!” Of course, you know it’s just out of anger and/or disappointment and they don’t really mean it. But, it doesn’t matter. The words prick at your heart like a thorny rose. And once said, they cannot be unheard and you cannot stop your heart from breaking.
It’s been nine and a half months since we’ve spoken. I tried to reach out to him, several times, but he will not respond. It hurts. You have no idea how much it hurts. I continue to pray for him, every day, I pray that he’s happy and healthy. He’s with his real mom now. I hope she’s watching out for him… like I used to do.