Since my mother died, I have often wondered what my children would feel about her. I wondered how I might introduce her to them, through photographs, books, and home movies. What would I tell them about her? Even more: what would they feel? Would they feel like they had lost someone? But most of all: would they think of E, my stepmother and my father’s wife of nine years, as their grandmother? What would they call her?
I don’t wonder anymore. E is Samara’s grandmother.
Samara will not forget my mother. I will share photos and stories. I will make sure she understands her namesake and how much I loved her. But why would I deny my child an opportunity for love?
So it came as quite a shock when E told me the other day that someone had questioned her relationship to Samara by pointing out the missing “blood line.” I was hurt for E, for the excitement she has shown towards my baby. I was hurt for Samara, for the relationship with her Oma that this person belittled. And I was hurt for me, because the relationship I have seen develop between E and Samara has been more healing than any family counseling session or three-hour talk has ever been.
It was E who threw my baby shower. E who cried the day the baby was born, who held her first and visited us the most in the hospital. E has been the most vocal in her excitement, the most demonstrative and the most respectful of the baby’s needs. When she holds Samara, Samara beams. Of Samara’s people preferences, E is one of the more obvious.
So, how could anyone question it?
Families are so much more than blood and, often, blood ties are not the strongest. It seems so natural, so clear; I almost wonder how I ever doubted. I assumed it would be hard, that I would hold back out of spite or loyalty to my mother’s legacy. But there is no disloyalty in allowing someone else to love my daughter, in allowing my daughter to have the grandmother she deserves.
My daughter has two maternal grandmothers, one deceased and one very much alive who loves her very much.