Modern-day life can be complicated, with many families having more than one mom or dad, step cousins/step siblings – either through marriage/divorce/ death or other circumstances. And when it comes to celebrations, family members who haven’t seen each other in years or who have a “history” may find it difficult to put such issues aside, even for the sake of allowing the happy event to remain happy!

A great friend – “Beverly” – has a son “Jack” who is getting married in a few months. His dad – Beverly’s ex – remarried a long time ago, so Jack has both a loving birth mother and a loving stepmother, “Mary.”

Sad to say, Jack’s dad died a short while ago, so while everyone is eagerly anticipating the wedding, there’s a sadness, especially for Mary, who had hoped to share many more happy times with her late husband.

The question arose about whether to have Beverly and Jack do a typical mother/son dance at the wedding, as his bride-to-be and her dad will be doing.

And of course, Beverly agreed to do it however Jack wanted it, while also wondering how his stepmother, Mary, would feel. Mary had helped raise Jack since he was a small child; how could they not include her in what would be such a wonderful time? Especially now that she’s alone, and still grieving.

Maybe not dance a mother/son dance at all? That idea was quickly dismissed. Maybe just dance with Beverly? No. The point was to include Mary.

Just have Jack dance with Mary? Hmmm. No. Beverly, as his first mother, certainly should be honored for that.

Oh.

Wait!

So simple!

Beverly came up with the perfect solution: Jack would dance the first half of the song with Beverly, then Jack would dance the second half with Mary.

Even as I write this, I have tears in my eyes.

There’s a lot of strife in the world today – some political, some financial, some social. Yet there are still so many loving people who see how to include – not exclude – others, and we could choose to focus on their efforts to remind ourselves of our common humanity.

We could choose to join in their celebrations that embrace all those involved.

We could choose to spread love and compassion throughout our small world.

Will you join us?

All in all, I find myself once again being happy that Beverly continues to extend her warmth and heart to others – and that (selfishly) I’m among those she cares about.


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Larry Tyler

This one brings tears and joy in life we embrace both Great story Thank you Susan.

Kat O'Keefe-Kanavos

Susan, it is such a joy to read how people put their past difficulties away for a celebration and embrace the moment. Thank you for sharing.