Would you call her mom? I do

By Lynn Elliott
Special to the Daily Journal

“God could not be everywhere, so he created Mothers.”
Author unknown

The first time I heard this saying, I knew God created mine with a very unique, special insight, with an extra special touch.
You see, my mother, the lady who gave me security, strength, comfort, love, patience, happiness, values, the most awesome memories a child could have, is what most people refer to as a stepmother.
But, mine is not a memory of dark days, mean remarks or bad things stereotypically associated with the word stepparent.
I used to close my prayers at night asking God to send my dad an angel because he was all alone and he heard me because he sent his best one.
Her name is Beverly … my Beverly. She embodies everything a mother should be. She has the strength of a steel wall, the patience of an angel, unconditional love that knows no boundaries and a way of calming me even in the midst of my life falling apart.
I have never, not once in my life, heard her refer to me and my brother as her stepchildren. She has always supported us in our relationship with our biological mother. Even when we were at a point in our lives when were bitter about our biological mother not being there, she came up with

ways for us to express that without being destructive in our everyday lives, never letting us have unkind things to say about the lady who gave birth to us. Instead she would pray and encourage us to pray for our birth mom.
I remember wondering how she kept all of her emotions inside about doing it all for us: financially, sporting events, emotional trials, school and budgeting when times were hard, but always having what we needed. She was always there, never wavering in her love, but knowing in her head that she didn’t have to be there, how did she do it, I often wondered.
She always put our needs ahead of hers and never passed up a chance to teach us something. Even during the birth of her only biological son, she made sure we were always part of the whole process and would check out books from the library about being a big brother or big sister and tell us how important our role was going to be and made us always feel like we were each the most loved. It seemed as though she had an endless supply of love, and patience and strength that still amazes me to this day.
During every sporting event, she would load up our little brother and come cheer us on, all while pushing him in his stroller and keeping a baby happy in the hot heat at a swim meet. As a mom now, I know that couldn’t have been an easy task. But she was always there and I swear I never saw her tired, impatient or not willing to accept a big hug or give an ‘atta girl’ … even though her clothes were dripping wet from the heat of the day. Summer after summer, weekend after weekend, she was always there to cheer me on.
I can remember growing up thinking there was no way a person could love two kids someone else gave birth to without some hesitation, or just giving up. As I look back, I know there were times we were very hard to love. We tested her every way and backwards that you could test someone. She never, not once, wavered in her love.
I may not have had the conventional biological mother growing up, but I am so blessed that because of an angel named Beverly, I don’t have to know what that feels like.

Lynn Elliot/Special to the Daily Journal