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I never thought anyone would celebrate Mother’s Day for me. My step-daughter is only 10 years younger than me and I am 13 years older than my step-son. I was never married before, nor was I a mother. To be honest with you, at first I didn’t even know what to say, or do with my step-kids. It was just too weird. Now when I look back, I felt sorry for my step-kids. They must have been super uncomfortable with me at first as well. Can you image your dad suddenly married to a much younger Chinese girl who looked like a teenager, barely could speak any English, and cooked weird Chinese dishes, like chicken feet?

Life After Loss ||Step Mom's Mothers Day

10 years ago when I just married my man, I knew very little about American culture, or in general how to be a mom. All I knew was I loved my late husband so much, and that love extended to his kids. My ways of caring probably were very different due to cultural differences and it caused some hard times. Later I figured it out… they would never call me mom since they were pretty much already adults when I entered their lives. I shouldn’t even think about whether they would love me back, I just needed be that special person there for them whenever they needed me.

Life After Loss ||Step Mom's Mothers Day

It was the second year after I moved to America. My step-daughter had moved in with us for a while and we had some ups and downs while learning how to live together. There was a very nice Friday evening and I was pulling weeds in my yard. My late husband was back from work and came to me “You better clean up soon because we are going out to eat.” “Really?!” I was very surprised. We were very tight on money at that time and we hadn’t gone out for a long time. My late husband knew what I was thinking and told me that my step-daughter was going to take me out for dinner. I was like, “Why?!” “I don’t know, ask her when we meet her at the restaurant.” He was being very mysterious. During our dinner, my step-daughter handed me a card and asked me to open it. I did and it said “Happy Mother’s Day”. I still remember that in that moment I almost couldn’t control my tears. I also got a pair of very cute earrings as my first Mother’s Day gift.

Life After Loss ||Step Mom's Mothers Day

After many more Mother’s Day celebrations, my late husband passed away. The past 15 months have been a true testimony for me and our family. Losing him had brought us very close to each other, but the different ways and speeds of grieving almost tore us apart too. Luckily, none of us had given up on each other and now we are restoring our relationship again.

Life After Loss ||Step Mom's Mothers Day

This year, my step-daughter knows I am writing this post, so I got my gift early. I have had an eye on this Sì Passione perfume by Giorgio Armani for a long time. The first time I tried this, I fell instantly in love with it. It was soft, sophisticated, and lasted on my skin for a whole day. It just made me feel good about myself and very confident. This new feminine fragrance is perfect for the woman who is passionate, feminine and free. Just like me!!!

Life After Loss ||Step Mom's Mothers Day

By the way, if you are still looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, look no further. Check out Macy’s Mother’s Day perfume collections. I like a few more on this list too. Maybe next year. 😉

Life After Loss ||Step Mom's Mothers Day

My step-daughter and her fiancé will come over Mother’s Day weekend to spend time with me and also will help me work in my yard. Anyway, being a step mom, especially being a step mom without my late husband, I am so lucky and blessed to have my step-kids celebrate Mother’s Day with me. I wish all the moms, especially step moms, a very heart warming Mother’s Day!

Life After Loss ||Step Mom's Mothers Day

You can read all the Life After Loss series here and Living with Cancer series here.

Life After Loss ||Step Mom's Mothers Day

Photo credit: Grace Liang/@thepaperdresscode

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  1. Grace, I loved reading about your family. These pictures are beautiful and I bet that perfume smells lovely. I used to wear Giorgio for a long time. I’ll have to give this one a test next time I’m in Macy’s. Happy Mother’s Day! XO

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