One day I went to the mailbox and saw a letter from my stepson addressed to me…written on yellow legal paper in his handwriting. I ripped it open and read this letter that brought tears to my eyes. I’ll never forget it.


“I found myself thinking about you and how you’ve played a part in my life I can’t remember if I’ve ever shown you any appreciation for raising me. I guess I’ve left that up to your intuition. However, it probably wouldn’t hurt if I sent a little thanks your way.

I think back in my life and it occurs to me that you are the most consistent figure in my growing up. Consistency is important to me. You were there. You didn’t run away. I’m sorry I didn’t take advantage of it. I guess I didn’t trust anyone enough to let them close to me.

It’s your model of consistency that I’m building on now. I’m not saying that I agreed with or liked the way you reacted to every situation, but you were consistently there to deal with everything with the same caring.

I didn’t mean for this letter to conjure up ill feelings of my childhood or for you to bear that burden. I hoped it would free you of any feeling of failure. You didn’t fail. You did a heck of a job even with the bad stuff we threw in your face. You never gave up. Kind of like a pit bull with its jaws locked on its fiercest prey, and if there’s any quality about myself that I can attribute to you, it is that.

Somewhere between your caring and consistency, my father’s ability to rationally deal with things and my mother’s imagination is the person I try to be – in that order. I hope you share this letter with my father. There am so much of me that is like him and so much of him that I strive to be.



In stepfamilies, you wait for the rewards for a long time… and smile deeply when they come.

Excerpt from book, Stepcoupling, Creating and Sustaining a Strong Marriage in Today’s Blended Family, Three Rivers Press, New York and Page 237.

Susan Wisdom
Licensed Professional Counselor
November 2009

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