Explaining step-parents and loss to a 5 year old

I was raised without my birth mother, so it seems ironic to me that I am now the “non-biological-mother.” I now get to hear those horrible four words that I threw around so carelessly as a teenager: “you’re not my mother.” My birth mother died when I was a baby, which is something I grew up (and continue) trying to make sense of, knowing deep down I never will. She was taken by some questionable disease no one could make sense of or put a name to back then, the kind you typically just read about in those horrible novels you just can’t put down. For me however, its real as real could be. Forever questioning the whys, hows, and reasoning behind the questions that will never be answered. Why her? Why me? What was she like? What would my life be like if she hadn’t died in her early 20s. What was the purpose of all this? I can only have gratitude for the Mother I did have. The one that offered to raise me as her own when she didn’t have to. It’s because of her that I try my hardest every day to be the best “Mother” I can to Savannah. That regardless of “step” or  “adopted” or any other title we can put in front of it, I will raise her the best I can and love her with all of my heart, because I was fortunate enough to have the woman that did the same for me. Now at 31 years old, I tell my 5 year old who is full of these same pondering questions that I was such as “what should I call you” and “are you my 2nd Mommy” or “why did they go to heaven?”  I reference my Mothers. I tell her I was blessed and extra lucky to get to have 3 Mothers. I have my birth Mother who went to heaven when I was a baby who is always watching over me. I have my Mother who raised me, who chose to do so when my mother had passed away. I also have my step-Mother, who came later into my life, who gave me my brothers and has become also an amazing friend.Depositphotos_1761627_originalI will always teach my Savannah that there is no amount of love in this world that is too much and that you can never have too many Mothers.

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