One of my favourite series of all time is Greys Anatomy. After a few years off, thanks to Netflicks, my love for this series has made a major come-back.
In fact, Season 1 thru 12 of Greys Anatomy has been the background noise in our home for months... Long enough to watch it from start to finish not once, not twice, but three times!
Last night as I watched my beloved show, while wrapping Christmas presents, I broke down bawling my eyes out. Uncontrollably actually.
Without spoiling the plot for those of you who have also jumped back on the Greys Anatomy bandwagon, a husband died and a wife was left alone.
Whenever I watch movies or any television show where a spouse dies, a flood of emotions takes over me and I literally cannot stop crying!
You see, my biggest fear in life is that something will happen to my husband.
You may be saying, "yes that's everyone's fear"... but I think this fear of mine is up a few notches from the general public. It's all-consuming and pretty irrational.
In fact, there have been times when my husband has been running late from work, and I've found myself in complete hysterics, sure that he has been in a car accident.
One up on that, sometimes as I drive down the road, I start to think about this irrational fear, and again, a flood of emotions take over.
I know I shouldn't live my life in fear. I know I shouldn't be thinking such terrible stuff on such a regular basis.
It's a little excessive. It's a little crazy. But it's me.
You see it's not just about the fear of losing my husband. It's about losing our family.
I'm "just a stepmom". I have no legal rights. I have no blood ties.
What happens to my relationship with my stepchildren if something happens to him?
NOTE: I am not saying I should (or should not) have legal rights, or anything along those lines, I am just stating the truth. At the end of the day, my husband is our connection. They come to see my husband and not me.
So if something happened to him, our week-on-week-off schedule would be no longer.
Our Holidays Traditions may dissolve.
I wouldn't have a house full of little kids and their friends on those warm summer nights.
What would happen to their relationship with Reese (my daughter)?
What would happen to their relationship with me?
Sure we would still see each other. I don't doubt that.
But it would never be the same!
Would it be a dinner every few weeks? A Sunday afternoon visit?
What would happen?
Those are the questions that consume my thoughts, over and over.
I'm not even sure what the point of this post is. Or why I decided to sit down and hammer this out before I head out to do some last minute errands and finalize all the Christmas details for the sweet little people in my life.
I guess the point is, as time goes on, stepfamily stressors evolve.
My stressors started with me trying to adapt to the culture shock that came with going from 0 kids, to 3 and then to 4 all within a year and a half. It was about figuring out how to co-parent and manage our blended family in a healthy and productive way. If we're being honest, it was all about survival!
Now, four years in, it's not about survival at all. It's about the fact that I'm pretty sure I couldn't survive without any of it.