There’s a place, deep in my heart, that is filled with compassion for you. A place of longing for your relationship with your daughter to be one of joy and love. I wish you could see that, for me, it’s never been a competition. I never intended to step on toes, hurt feelings, or compete. Actually, quite the opposite. You see, I never imagined myself being a second wife, as I am sure you never imagined yourself divorced. I understood that we both were in places that were new and unsettling. I never imagined that I would be living in a role that is thankless and often times hurts. I never imagined there would be another woman in the picture, one who shares joyful beautiful memories with my husband, and one who has a ton of control over our schedule and decisions. But, at the end of the day, this is the life I chose. I grew. I embraced it. Conflict and all. There are still many, many days I close my eyes and see us all making effort. I see us all showing up. Because we are family in a way, and family shows up. I see us having Christmas and Easter dinners together… and the awkwardness fades away. I don’t know if that will ever happen, and I have come to accept that, but there’s so much I wish I could say. Some of what I want to say is probably blunt, hurtful and unnecessary. I’ll just keep that to myself. My feelings of hurt and anger are my own to process and I want this to say the things that are welling up deep, deep within. I want to say thank you for giving life to your daughter. Because of your motherhood, I get to be a part of her life and she is a beautiful soul. I get to participate in the life of someone I adore. I want to tell you that no matter what… there is no replacement of the mother role. I am sure you know that. Actually, your self confidence is pretty darn intimidating at times, so I probably don’t need to tell you anything, but – your role is irreplaceable. I want to tell you that, this may not be the life you imagined, but it really can be beautiful. I wish you could see that all I ever wanted was to be allowed to be a family too and love your daughter. I want to tell you that I pray for you and your other children, that I love them too, because they are my (step) daughter’s siblings. I pray for your marriage, because I want you to be happy and I want our daughter to see that happiness. I want your success. I silently root for you thousands of miles away.
When your daughter saves every letter and card you give her, there’s a tiny place in me that stings a little bit. I don’t wanna lie, of course it hurts knowing the cards I give her will never matter as much. But then my heart sings.. because I know those words you spoke to her filled her. When your daughter shares things with me that are personal and deep, it hurts too, because my heart aches knowing she should be sharing with you first. All I want is for her to grow knowing she is adored, loved and not remembering or knowing the tension and hurt we felt. It’s not a child’s place to carry an adult’s burden. She will have her own heavy loads to shoulder one day. I guess I write this to say… NONE of this is easy. NONE of this is clear, but my intentions have never been to hurt or compete. 8 years in and I am still imagining blended holidays and vacations. I wish you knew that. I also know that it probably wouldn’t change anything if you did know, but we won’t stop praying for you guys and rooting for you. I won’t stop that. You may need me to be silent, to quiet myself from the picture. I will do that. You may need me to step up one day. I will do that too. Because it’s not about me, it’s about our daughter – and that means I have to consider you too. Marriages weren’t meant to fail, families weren’t meant to blend. But, here we are. I pray this journey creates beauty from the ashes.