Blending Families by Helen Loewen

It’s time for another listen blog post! This one comes from Helen Loewen. She posted this beautiful piece on blended families to her blog on May 7, 2018 and can be viewed here. A big Thank You to Helen for allowing us to share her work with you today. Be sure to head over to her blog to show her your support.

My parents were very involved in my life. They were pretty dedicated to knowing what we were up to. And strict. Also, quite critical of all we did. They were good parents but we siblings felt suffocated at times. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. We just wanted our freedom. It came in a rush. My parents have always had the rule that we’re supposed to know what it’s like to work for our own everything. When I was 22, my parents decided it was time for me to fend for myself. So I moved out with my younger sister.

My dad’s a doctor. He’s definitely not poor. But to gain an understanding of the world, I paved my own path. My sister and I didn’t take any money from my parents. We had jobs and knew what to do. It wasn’t always easy but we made it. I think the way I was raised helped define me. It made me more independent and money conscientious. I bought a car and did my part to get ahead.

Abe’s family is the total opposite of mine. More laid back and more like friends. The siblings were all so close and like best friends. Plus, his 3 year old sister is a riot. An adult in a child’s body. Way too smart for her own good. Abe’s parents are reserved and quiet. They’d always call after 11:00 pm if Abe was still out. It was just to make sure he was okay. Normally, he’d be drinking if he was out late. It was sweet. The family dynamic is one that I love and was so jealous of. I had no one and nothing but silence to go home to. (My sister moved out and left the continent after a year.)

When we used to hang out all the time, Abe told me often that he liked me. I always friend zoned him. I’ll post our story soon. Anyway, one day he told me that his mom had told him to quit wasting his time on me. I was shocked. I didn’t want Abe to stop hanging out with me. His was the most valuable friendship I had. And I have some very great friendships. Plus, I secretly did like him a lot.

April Fool’s Day 2017, the jeep broke down just down the street from Abe’s house. His brother picked us up and brought us to the house. Abe and I had been dating officially for 3 weeks by this point. Then Abe, his brother and dad went to fix the Jeep. I was left with his mom and sisters for the first time all alone. It started off a little awkward but we broke the ice. I became friends with my future mother in law that day. Turns out there’s history between our families. It was a wonderful experience.

Yesterday, she and I went for a walk to their pond. We talk easily and I enjoy spending time with her. She’s a kind and wonderful woman. I still have that awkward ‘what-do-I-call-her’ feeling. I’m supposed to call her mom. I just need to get used to it first. As for Abe and my family; they have hit it off so well. My dad is so proud of Abe. He adores time together. I know Abe has his issues with my family in terms of comfort. Fancy, big house, lots of toys, and obviously an easy life. Abe’s family owns a lot of farming land. They are by no means poor. They just lived differently than my family. Abe’s still getting used to the display of riches. Not that my parents flaunt it. They just use it as they enjoy. It’s their right. They earned it.

That’s a quick, once over of how two very different families blended into one. And there’s so much more that I could share. In time.