Closure. *And* a Fortune Cookie. Niiice.

The world's too small a place to run and hide from difficult situations OR pain. This is a story of standing one's ground with great satisfaction, knowing that sometimes it's good to reach the end of a chapter.
weakness strength HONESTY courage dignity abandonment
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J @LibertyBelleJ
Okay. *rubbing hands together, warming up* You guys missed it. And my phone is being very weird, so I had to get to my laptop to share...
J @LibertyBelleJ
The group decided to go to a meh Chinese buffet nearby for our dinner, so off we went. When we arrived, we saw my stepdad & newish wife.
J @LibertyBelleJ
Everyone looks at me. Do you want to go in, or go somewhere else, they ask. Ohhhh, by ALL MEANS, let's GO INNNN! This'll be GREAT.
J @LibertyBelleJ
See, here's the story. My stepdad married my mom when I was 14. Took me to dinner at Red Lobster to ask if he could be my new sort-of dad.
J @LibertyBelleJ
At that time, in 1982, I cried, hugged him there in the Red Lobster parking lot, kissed him on the cheek, and said yes.
J @LibertyBelleJ
He commenced to stepfathering after that, and altho he was a bit of a dork, he did a decent job of it. Was hesitant with me.
J @LibertyBelleJ
Turns out that my mom had warned him that I was her "cross to bear." A difficult, slightly insane child, severely troubled.
J @LibertyBelleJ
He believed her. For YEARS. Later, tho, he said, in a private moment, "If I had grown up with her as my mother, I'd be institutionalized."
J @LibertyBelleJ
I supported him when he was bludgeoned emotionally by her. After all, I knew the drill. And he was kind to me, if limited emotionally.
J @LibertyBelleJ
Fast forward to after my marriage. I had babies. He fell in love w/said babies. LIVED for them. Was there for the births, even. Overjoyed.
J @LibertyBelleJ
He continued to dote on them until, say, 2006. By then, they were older, bored by his pendantic engineer talk, religious talk.
J @LibertyBelleJ
My girls found a starving cat, a stray, in spring 2007. We saved the kitty. Fed her. Had to find her a home, tho. But who?
J @LibertyBelleJ
My mom had said no no no no to a cat, despite Stepdad wanting one. But this time... she said yes. Turns out she knew she was dying.
J @LibertyBelleJ
She let him have the cat. Marshmallow (named by my kids). Only he changed it to "Marsha." Look, the dude is OLD. LOL.
J @LibertyBelleJ
He fell for the CAT. Raved about the cat. Raved. Talked of nothing else. Just like he had done my babies for a good seven years.
J @LibertyBelleJ
I had warned my mom that his intensity seemed to be more about him than about them. And now... the damned cat. OMG.
J @LibertyBelleJ
My mom revealed that she had terminal pancreatic cancer right before Mothers Day in '07. She died in July. Not long. And he had the cat.
J @LibertyBelleJ
We kept in touch. Stayed close. Visited with him. He is NOT a man who can be alone. Not at all. He doesn't have it in him.
J @LibertyBelleJ
Turns out he wrote a letter & reconnected with a woman he dated before he met my mom, whom he had once proposed to. She'd said no, then.
J @LibertyBelleJ
He asked me if it was okay. I said, "Hell, yeah. I know you. Find a woman or you'll die. You dating won't make mom more or less dead."
J @LibertyBelleJ
He confided EVERYTHING in me. I mean... gory details. LIke... sex. Not kidding. Told me he was going to propose. I said, "Great! Do it!"
J @LibertyBelleJ
He asked if it would be okay to use my mom's wedding ring. NONONONO. God no. I said, "Um, Bob, nobody wants a dead woman's ring. Just.. no."
J @LibertyBelleJ
So he proposed. She said yes. They got a ring together. So far so good. I said I wanted to meet her. Was very open. Happy to be her friend.
J @LibertyBelleJ
She wouldn't meet me. Any of us. Didn't wanna. Ruh-roh. We never did meet her until I invited everyone to my house for 4th of July barbecue.
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