How I Feel About My Mom's Engagement

How I Feel About My Mom's Engagement

Mazel Tov!
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Twelve days ago, I received a text message addressed to myself and my three siblings from my mom's boyfriend of two years reading, "Hi, all — I'm asking your mom to marry me right now! I love her very much." If anything, the first emotion I felt was complete and utter shock. I had anticipated their long-term devotion to one another and potentially the merging of households, but never engagement. I had frequently inquired of my mom whether or not she intended to marry her boyfriend, but she waved her hand dismissing the idea as if it were a silly school girl's dreams. I later received the message informing us of her having said yes, and I froze.

I called my mom on the phone and I cried. "Tears of joy" is what I told her, but to be quite honest, my emotions were so muddled I couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was that was making the tears stream down my face. Of course, first and foremost, I cried for her happiness. I cried because I think the world of my mom and knew that to be betrothed to a man who treated her like the angel she is and who cared deeply for her children was a dream come true. And so, I was happy. But as I further explored my reason for sobbing, I found sadness.

When my dad passed away, I never considered the idea of a replacement father figure, although I was only 8. But as I got older and the boyfriends came and they went, the possibility escaped my mind almost entirely. When she met Wayne, I knew he was something special, but again, the faintest thought of their engagement seemed so unrealistic to me. When he proposed, my heart sunk. I had never anticipated having a step-father, or someone who could ever be in the same position as my dad. And all of a sudden, I felt anger.

I was angry with Wayne for not giving us a heads up, angry with my mom for wanting to replace dad, and angry with myself for being angry. Because, after all, this was about my mom's happiness, not the way that I felt. I would be leaving the house soon, only visiting on holidays or work vacations. And that's when I realized that this engagement is what my mom needed to hold her together. She has always been the most optimistic of people, worrying about others, caring for them when she herself had more pressing matters to attend to, and loving each and every one of her children. But now it was her time to be cared for as each of us flew from the nest. She wasn't replacing dad in any capacity, she was making sure she had someone permanent in her life to grow old with; that's what most everyone wants, isn't it?

After sitting and thinking for a bit, I came to this conclusion, and I was happy again. Happy for my mom, happy for Wayne, happy for my family, happy for his. And, I was happy for dad. Because I knew he was watching, I knew he had chosen a wonderful fiancee for the woman he loved until his last breath, and I knew all he wanted was every happiness in the world for her. And that was more powerful than any feeling. So, cheers to the happy couple and to my new step-father; welcome to the family, Wayne.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Poetry On The Odyssey: You Don't Control Me

If I could speak to my anxiety, here is what I'd say.

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Anxiety,

You have controlled my life for way too long.

My constant fears hold me back from so many things I want to be able to do.

Your presence makes me a person I don't want to be.

You make me feel scared and alone when I know that I am not alone.

You don't control me.

I am not free to be myself when you are around.

There is no use for you, and you should be ashamed for making me feel sick, nervous, fearful, not good enough.

You have been a little monster, harboring inside of me for my whole life.

Whispering "You can't do that" in my ear when I dare to get out of my comfort zone.

You don't control me.

I am fully capable of doing great things and living without you.

I have a wonderful support system of people who believe in me and help me crush you every day as you deserve.

I will be brave, be bold, enjoy life more.

This is me saying "Sayonara Anxiety."

You don't control me.

I am going to take my life back from your filthy grip.

I am going to live the life I've dreamt of.

I am going to be adventurous and take risks.

I am going to be myself.

You don't control me.


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