Families – Have You Faced Something Like This?

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.



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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Susan Rooks
Susan Rookshttps://grammargoddess.com/
With nearly 30 years’ experience as an international workshop leader, Susan Rooks is uniquely positioned to help people master the communication skills they need to succeed. In 1995, Susan formed Grammar Goddess Communication, creating and leading workshops in three main areas – American grammar, business writing, and interpersonal skills – to help business pros enhance their communication skills. She also leads one-hour LinkedIn workshops (Master the LinkedIn Profile Basics) via Zoom to help business pros anywhere maximize their LinkedIn experience, offering it to Chambers of Commerce and other civic organizations free of charge. As an editor, Susan has worked on business blogs, award-winning children’s books, best-selling business books, website content, and even corporate annual reports (with clients from half a dozen countries), ensuring that all material is professionally presented. In April 2022, Susan became the Managing Editor of the Florida Specifier, a bi-monthly trade publication covering Florida’s diverse environmental industry. And although the focus is on Florida’s issues, many of these same challenges are found elsewhere around the world, so the readership isn’t limited to just Floridians or those interested in that state. But in all these endeavors, Susan’s only goal is to help everyone look and sound as smart as they are.


    • Knowing my friend as I do, @Kat, I wasn’t surprised that it was on her mind to ensure that “Mary” had close enough to equal billing. She’s been a great stepmother, and my friend surely appreciated that. And the family has been through the unexpected death of my friend’s ex, so as we were talking, this whole article just wrote itself.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!