Becky Says...

February 2002

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February 18

This is one where you might want a scorecard before it's done. Several years after my father died my mother remarried. My stepfather had been widowed himself, and left with a son four years my senior. That son absolutely adored my mother, and hated me. He saw me as a threat to his place in his father's life, and wanted me to be far, far away.

His late mother had been married prior to her marriage to my stepfather (want your scorecard yet?), and had had two sons from that marriage. Her parents doted on those two grandsons, but treated my stepbrother as though he didn't exist. They had flatly told his mother she was too old to have a third child...as though it were any of their business.

Anyway, when his mother died, my stepbrother saw his grandparents take every shred of her existence that they could get their hands on away. The only relatives he really trusted were his father and paternal grandmother, and probably a few cousins. He grew to love my mother because she was good to him. I didn't, for instance, need a whole lot of help with my homework in those early elementary years---but my stepbrother did with his, so every night after supper, Mother would sit with him and go over the assigned work while I was off in my room doing my own.

My mother and stepfather had known each other when they were much younger people, but had both married others. In fact, the way the two of them got back together was that my stepfather hadn't realized that daddy was dead, and had called our home trying to find the number for daddy's law office to get some help settling his wife's estate.

Largely because this stepbrother did not like me, and his father allowed him to call the shots, the marriage never really was such. We stayed in our separate households...which I frankly consider one of the smarter decisions my mother made. Otherwise, when the marriage ended, things would have been messy.

I, by the way, don't take blame for this. I never deliberately was mean to my stepbrother; the opposite of that is most certainly not true. And there are witnesses. I long since forgave him for anything he did to me; we were children, after all, and with some years of life experience and some education under my belt, I can understand his fear and that I was indeed the easiest target for his rage. I'm not Saint Rebecca; the boy (and his dad, for that matter) needed therapy and none was available.

After a few years it became evident that things were not going to change. The two parents drifted apart. (They did later on give the marriage another chance---there's a lot more to the story, that I'm omitting for space and time constraints.)

And what has brought this bit of my history to the front of my mind tonight? Well, I was reading an article in a newspaper from my home area, and learned that my now-former stepbrother's business (a restaurant) is doing well, and that he's married for the second time. Neither of those two things were the focus of the story---it was on a certain type of seafood restaurants in that part of the state.

I really am glad to see that he's doing well.

Text copyright 2000-2002 Becky