WHAT IT'S BEEN LIKE TO HAVE A "STEP" MOM

First of all let us just strike "step" from this sentence.
  1. Marilynn met my dad when I was sixteen years old.
  2. They worked together.
  3. My mom had passed away two years before, and her husband passed away one year before.
  4. They were just friends. Casually talking, nothing exciting. Neither of them were interested in anything more than friendship.
  5. She would pick me up from school on Wednesdays because I got out of class early, and dad had to work.
  6. We would go on lunch dates (something I was never able to do with my birth mom). We'd go to Olive Garden and then go grocery shopping.
  7. We bonded immediately. She always says that she fell in love with me first.
  8. Marilynn had two sons from her first marriage.
  9. But Doug, the younger one, passed away in 1996.
  10. She never wanted a daughter, until she met me.
  11. We'd go over to her house every weekend for dinner and go on outings together.
  12. But they never dated.
  13. She kind of just blended in with the family, like she had always been there.
  14. She told me to never feel like she was taking the place of my mom, or feel intimidated by her. In which I never have, and never will.
  15. Dad told me that if I had any issues with Marilynn, to tell him. But I've never had to.
  16. She was there for my worst breakups, my graduation, my meltdowns, birthdays, troublemaking, triumphs... Everything, she was there.
  17. She moved in with us about six months after they met just because she knew we needed some financial help.
  18. But we ended up loving having her around.
  19. She'd always make my favorite dinners, and stay up late with me doing homework or gossiping.
  20. She's not a very feminine woman, but she can fix darn near anything. I've learned from her and she has learned for me.
  21. My birth mom's parents had all passed away, so with getting another mom, I got an awesome "step" family.
  22. She got breast cancer... And guess what guys? She kicked it's butt!
  23. She went through chemotherapy and radiation, plus all of the surgeries... All the while only being concerned that if she died I'd be left with losing another mom.
  24. She had her final surgery, and went back to work a week later because she couldn't stand to sit still (still can't).
  25. Marilynn and dad got married in 2011. I was the other witness to sign their marriage license.
  26. She can understand me without me even having to speak.
  27. I can tell her anything, and everything. Literally.
  28. She supports me, and loves me.
  29. I am not her "step" daughter, I am just her daughter.
  30. She is not my "step" mom, she is just my mom.
  31. But when I need to clarify, I say she is my Earth Mom. Since my Birth Mom is in Heaven.
  32. Marilynn is tough as nails, but one of the most special and unique ladies in the world. I look up to her. If I could some day be a fraction of the woman she is, I will be a happy lady.
  33. She is my best friend.
  34. And I am so proud of her.
  35. I love my mom ❤️.