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My Wicked Stepmother

Updated on May 27, 2012
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When I was around five years old my life changed in a big way. Like many other children who have been through divorce, I had a hard time understanding the reasons for the change. My sister and I learned on the fly, we didn't play favorites and we stuck together.

Over time, my father remarried. This was a game changer for us. On one hand we now had a brand new sister. Maybe not brand new, she was around three, but new enough. On the other hand, there was my dad's new wife. A Stepmother, oh boy.

I can't speak for my sister, but in my mind this lady was going to be taking away from my time with my dad. So I decided I would put her to the test. The brat test. Obnoxious is not the correct adjective. I was downright evil. Throwing tantrums, rolling my eyes, and of course, breaking out the “You're not my mom!” I threw my full arsenal at this woman, and nothing worked.

A few years down the road, I realized "this woman" was not going anywhere. I still had my reservations, but there was little I could do. She was extremely intelligent, there was no outsmarting her. She had a razor sharp wit, (she made jokes when I was a child that I am just now understanding), and she wouldn't let me push her around. She never tried to take the place of my mother. She carved out her own place in my life. Looking back, she handled a very difficult situation in remarkable fashion.

As time went on, I started to take to her. She was a great help with homework, her creative ideas were endless. She taught me how to play games like chess, where you would actually sit down for more than five minutes and think, not my strong point to say the least. She was always reading, if she was sitting, there was a book in her hand, this became contagious.

As she wrote advertisements for a living, I witnessed the power of the pen first hand. After what I'll just refer to as a rafting expedition, my father and I experienced some rapids, (it was a creek), and our new raft was punctured. Upon seeing my devastation as we arrived home, my stepmother sprung into action. She wrote a somber letter to the raft company about the tragic plight of the 10 year old boy and his raft. A few weeks later, I was amazed as a brand new raft arrived along with an apologetic note from the company.

She helped me pen letters to my favorite sports stars, and in return I received signed glossy photographs. I would take these to school and show them off to my classmates. Writing could be fun, who knew?

She also worked as a Promotions Director at the local tv station, I became the envy of the neigborhood as I would wear my The Simpsons t-shirts and jackets to school. The station filmed commercials in our front yard, inviting the neighborhood kids to come down and record their 10 second spot. We all felt like movie stars, repeating our lines for weeks afterwards.

Over the years, My stepmother taught me many things. What wasn't taught, I learned from her example. (Maybe not the language)

Today, my wicked stepmother is an award winning author. With over ten true crime books and five mystery novels to her credit, Diane Fanning has appeared on several tv news shows, including 48 hours and Investigation Discovery among others. I must admit, it's pretty cool flipping through the channels and seeing your stepmother being interviewed.

She is also a hero, while interviewing convicted serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells, he confessed in a letter to the murder of 10 year old Joel Kirkpatrick. Joel's mother, Julie Rae Harper had been wrongly convicted of his murder and with the help of my stepmother's testimony, she was acquitted.

The best part is that even with all her success she is still the same person I met almost 30 years ago. She's always quick to help me out with anything from editing one of my short stories (no small feat) to helping me with questions I have pertaining to anything at all. She's a pretty extraordinary woman I must say, and I want to thank her for everything she's done for me. So here's to my wicked stepmother, I guess she's alright after all.

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    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      This is sweet. My parents are still married but I couldn't imagine even at this age dealing with a new stepparent. But it's also cool getting to know someone who is now a part of your family in such a unique way. Great hub!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      I wish my granddaughter's could be as lucky as you were. Only good thing about it, they are closer to their mother.

      Enjoyed your hub.

    • moiragallaga profile image

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Beautiful hub Weestro, and a nice homage to your "wicked stepmother." Seeing that you have taken to writing, it appears her influence on you has been quite strong.

    • weestro profile image
      Author

      Pete Fanning 5 years ago from Virginia

      @Alecia - It was a blessing Alecia, thanks!

      @moonlake - I was definitely lucky. And my mother is an amazing woman herself.

      @moiragallaga - thank you, I would say my attempt at writing is definitely due to her influence!

    • profile image

      jenubouka 5 years ago

      Um, that is the most coolest and heart felt piece of writing. To comment on the realm of step families, what a loving and courageous women to take on a boy who in the end discovered what perseverance was to be a step parent.

      Second, she is a great writer and compelling investigator on subjects not for many to cover. I bet she is so proud of your writing, funny style and quick wit.

    • Diane Fanning profile image

      Diane Fanning 5 years ago from New Braunfels, Texas

      Your wicked stepmother is deeply touched. Thank you! Love you lots! Now, back to being wicked...

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      A really great true story!

    • profile image

      Sue, friend of wicked stepmother... 5 years ago

      This is a really great piece, Pete, and I think your WS did a great job by the sounds of this lovely column!

    • profile image

      Donna R. Gore 5 years ago

      What a poignant and coming of age story!!! It touched my heart! I'm sure your mutual love has evolved and grown over the years.... If only... in my family. But, alas...it is not! Diane, you must've done something right.. in fact, a lot of right to have such an appreciative step child! Good for both of you!

      Respectfully,

      Donna R. Gore,M.A.

      "Ladyjustice"

      www.donnagore.com

    • weestro profile image
      Author

      Pete Fanning 5 years ago from Virginia

      Thank you for all of the kind comments, I am blessed with a great family, that is for sure!

      Diane, lol...glad you enjoyed it!

    • profile image

      Liz Nichols 5 years ago

      I wish I could give you a big hug! That was such a sweet hub.

      Love,

      #0

    • profile image

      Alex 5 years ago

      Awesome man. Love these posts.

      #0-in Law

    • weestro profile image
      Author

      Pete Fanning 5 years ago from Virginia

      Hey guys, glad you enjoyed it! You #0s are the best!

    • profile image

      Aliza 5 years ago

      I too had a wicked stepmother who I still, to this day, apologize to for my behavior back then (40 years ago!). I now count her as one of my oldest and dearest friends even though my dad has passed away years ago.

    • doodlelounge profile image

      doodlelounge 5 years ago from UK

      I loved this post. I have not long ago become a step mum, to my husband's older kids. With the odd obstacle here and there, it has been good, so fingers crossed. Thank you, Kirsten

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I can relate! I can't imagine my parents actually being together. When does that happen? haha. I love how you learned to appreciate your "stepmonster." That's my loving term for mine (she likes it!). She has been married to my father since I was about 14 or 15 (30 years), and I adore her. She has never treated me like a stepdaughter, but as a daughter. I really enjoyed your hub and gave you every vote possible!

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