Life After Loss Keeping My Family Together
I had a little bit of a difficult decision to make after I learned that my late husband was not able to have children anymore many years ago. I never married before I met him and I was hoping someday to have my own family. But, life never goes in the directions you planned. After some serious thinking, I decided to still marry my true love.
I went from being single to suddenly jumping into a wife and a step-mother role. My step-daughter, Ashley, had already graduated from her college and my step-son was between his second and third year of college when my late husband and I got married. I was quite scared and I didn’t know what to do when I was around them since I am only 10 years older than my step-daughter. Later I figured out, the only thing that I could do, was just simply be me.
Ashley has been super nice to me since day one. My man was in America and I was in China, but we saw each other everyday online for hours. At that time, my English was quite painful and my man was teaching me some new words occasionally. At that time my favorite phrase was “kick your ass” and I said it to him all the time when he was goofing around. I didn’t know it was not a proper phrase to say because my man never told me. He thought it was very cute when I said that. The first day I e-met Ashley many years ago I said that to my man. Ashley was laughing so hard and I had no clue what was so funny. 😉
After I moved to America, we lived in a 100 year old house that was in quite bad condition. We didn’t have much furniture or decorations. We were pretty poor at that time, so Ashley took me yard sale shopping all the time since I didn’t know how to drive. I used my limited English to bargain and slowly built up a quite nice home. Now when I think back, I must have embarrassed Ashley all the time because my poor English and my hard bargaining. 😉
I wish I had more time to spend with my step-son Bobby before he married. In the early days, he was in college and we only saw each other a few times per year. We drove to his college every year for his birthday in February. It was not easy to visit often since it was almost a whole day drive during the snowy season in Michigan to get there. He has been always quite distant with me, but I believe the only way it will work is to just be there for him. Because I was there for every important moment of his life since I’ve come here, he slowly accepted me.
Difficult times like losing a loved one can tear apart a family. Luckily for us, it brought us even closer than before. Last Saturday I felt so happy! We had a family gathering and we all had a great time. My step-daughter, my daughter-in-law, and I worked together and we cooked a very yummy dinner. My future son-in-law was trimming the overgrown bushes in my yard, my step-son was helping in the garage, my two granddogs were running around, and my two adorable grand-daughters were just being cute and happy. Since my late husband passed away 7 month ago, this is the first time that we all relaxed and enjoyed each others company. During dinner I was telling my man in my head “Thank you so much for giving me a family!”
Photos credited: Grace Liang
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