‘When I first met you a twinge of jealousy shot through my body.’
Ashley (L) and Styles (R)
Repairing a broken family is tough for everyone involved. Relationships are forever altered and lingering resentments create a huge barrier to collective healing. A family in Texas recently caught the public’s attention for getting past that resentment and coming together to create a better life for their teenage girl.
Candice Curry, mother of a 14-year-old daughter named Styles, recently wrote an open letter to her daughter’s new stepmother (also her ex’s new wife), Ashley Parish. The letter revealed Curry’s inner struggle as she faced having a new woman enter both her and her daughter’s lives. In the letter she posted on her blog, Women with Worth, she wrote, “In my mind you would be a terrible beast and my daughter would not want you to mother her at all, ever! I was hoping that you would be semi unattractive and prayed my daughter wouldn’t look up to you. Her daddy would know that he was settling for second best.”
Later in the letter, Curry reveals that she learned to respect and love Parish for the way she handled her role as stepmother and for the loving relationship she built with Styles. In a recent interview, Parish said, “Initially, it was an effort to make sure [Styles] knew, she was first. And then slowly we grew to love each other.” Having two mothers has been great for providing balance in Styles’ life. “My mom always cooks wonderful meals...Ashley is good at giving clothing tips,” Styles said in an interview.
Here’s an excerpt from Curry’s open letter. You can read it in its entirety at Women with Worth.
To My Daughter’s Stepmom
I never wanted you here. You simply were never part of the plan. Growing up and dreaming of my family I never included you. I didn’t want help from another woman to raise my child. The plan was for my family to include me, daddy and our children, not you. I doubt you ever wanted me in your life. I doubt you planned to mother a child that you didn’t give birth to. I can bet that your plan for your family included you, daddy and your children together, not me or my daughter. I can almost bet that when you dreamed of becoming a mother it would be the day you gave birth and not the day you married your husband. I’m pretty sure you never planned on me being here.
But God has plans that far exceed our own and when my little family dissolved to form two families I knew you would be coming.
In my mind you would be a terrible beast and my daughter would not want you to mother her at all, ever! I was hoping that you would be semi unattractive and prayed my daughter wouldn’t look up to you. Her daddy would know that he was settling for second best. Evil swirled in me because I never wanted to face the fact that another woman would mother my child in my absence.
Then you arrived.
When I first met you I’ll admit you weren’t what I had in mind and a twinge of jealousy shot through my body. You were supposed to be hideous, remember? But you weren’t, you were stunningly beautiful. You were supposed to be a mean old hag, remember? But you weren’t, you were a young, sweet woman.
My plans were foiled.
I realized by the look on your face that meeting me was just as hard as it was for me to meet you. My heart immediately softened. Dang your kind smile! I was planing on really hating you. Why are your ruining my plan?!
I wanted to resent you but you made it impossible and I quickly grew thankful for you.
(H/T Women with Worth)