There are Many Definitions of Family….
Posted on October 3, 2011
I can remember as a child when I was told that Grandpa Bob was not related to my sisters and me biologically. I was told that Grandpa Bob actually adopted my mom just before he and Grandma Lita married in 1966 in the Philippines. Needless to say, my child-like self was completely shocked! I thought to myself: “Does this mean I can’t call him Grandpa? ” I didn’t know what to do with this important bit of information…or if I actually had to do anything with it. I quickly realized that this news was just that…news. My sisters and I were encouraged to just take it, process it, and move on. Grandpa Bob is still our Grandpa and will always be our Grandpa. He had loved us like we’re his flesh and blood since we were born, so we needed to reciprocate that love for him as if no one ever told us about this slight dent in our family tree. And, boy, that was the easiest thing my sisters and I had ever done. 🙂
Grandpa Bob made stepparenting look so easy. He helped raise my mom since she was 12 years old. He and Grandma Lita obviously did something right, because my mom grew up to become a strong, independent woman, teacher, and later a small business owner.
Grandpa Bob gave me the courage to become a stepmom to my husband Jeremy’s beautiful daughter almost 3 1/2 years ago. I fell in love with his daughter since the day I met her just a few weeks after Jeremy and I started dating when she was 6 years old, but the thought of becoming a stepmom to this very impressionable little girl scared me half to death! However, I realized that if Grandpa Bob could do it-at a time when anything other than the nuclear family was frowned upon-then I surely could do it. I regret that I never told him this. But I think he knows….
Above is a picture of Grandpa Bob walking with my mom as she was about to marry my dad in 1976. The picture represents the typical father/daughter emotions that present itself on that big day: extreme happiness mixed with sadness and a bit of anticipation. Though you can clearly see the lack of family resemblance, you can definitely see the bond that, I have learned, does not always need a biological tie to exist. Without him knowing it, Grandpa Bob taught me this important lesson. I hope to make Grandpa Bob proud as I continue to help my stepdaughter, now 17 years old, attain the happiness the world has to offer her as she quickly reaches adulthood. I should only be so lucky if I can be half as wonderful of a parental figure for my stepdaughter as Grandpa Bob was for my mom. 🙂