I recently received a letter from my oldest stepdaughter. I was very surprised by her heart-felt thoughts and feelings about our relationship over the years. She was eight years old when I married her father. She has a younger brother and sister who were five and four years old, respectively. I had no idea their father was an alcoholic when we married, but it soon became evident that his drinking was out of control.
Having grown up in a violent, chaotic, alcoholic home, I had decided that my home was going to be loving, caring, and filled with all the childhood activities I had missed. One of my fondest memories is of baking cookies at Christmas with my stepchildren and having a grand time. My kitchen was filled with laughter, singing, and happiness. I had no idea what a profound effect it would have on my stepchildren all these years later.
My husband and I found our respective programs of A.A. and Al‑Anon. We were open about our recovery, and soon, my oldest stepdaughter joined me in my Al‑Anon meetings. We continued to do fun activities as she grew older, and our bond became very strong. I became her confidante, and our hearts have been locked together for eternity. She now has two stepchildren of her own, and we speak frequently about the challenges and rewards of being a stepmother.
Her letter brought me to tears, and we cried together when I called to thank her. We live several hours from each other, so we always cry and hug when we get to spend time together. Our special relationship is just one of the many blessings I have received as a result of working an Al‑Anon program and taking it home to my family. I count my special, intimate relationship with my stepdaughter as a precious gift from my Higher Power.
By Sue W., California
The Forum, June 2022
Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.