Last week, I planned to write a blog post about love. However, after attending a Wynonna Judd concert, I changed my mind, and wrote another blog post that dealt with a different angle of the power of love.
As I watched the performance, it reminded me of how love transcends all boundaries and brings people together in ways that nothing else can, which, full circle, was what I intended initially to elaborate on. You see, when I was in my mid-twenties, I met a mentor, Kelly, who taught me this vital lesson.
Kelly married later in life for the first time to a divorcee. Her primary focus was on her husband, who was a big-hearted guy, and the couple’s goal was to embrace this new chapter of their lives with confidence and joy. However, as a stepmother, it is not easy to win the hearts of all your stepchildren. In the case of this particular woman, most of her then adolescent and young adult stepchildren immediately accepted her with open arms. Nonetheless, the youngest child, Maggie, was not so welcoming and, conversely, threw verbal pointed darts. Whenever Kelly was in her presence, Maggie constantly talked about her mother’s beauty and intelligence. It was an obvious manipulative tactic to pit Kelly against Maggie’s own mother to make Kelly feel inferior.
Kelly managed to not take anything about how “perfect” Maggie’s mother was to heart. Eventually, Kelly was able to put herself in Maggie’s shoes and realized that her stepdaughter wanted her dad to remain married to her birth mom. Kelly understood her motive, but rather than trying to force Maggie to accept her presence, she chose a different approach. She decided to listen and understand Maggie’s feelings in order to work towards helping her adjust to the new family dynamic. Subsequently, when it came to Maggie’s mother, Kelly made sure to be extra careful with her words. The most important thing to Kelly was that she be keenly aware not to put down Maggie’s mother in any way, shape or form.
(I should note that Kelly WAS NOT a pushover. If Maggie had verbally attacked or hurt her directly, Maggie would have drawn a healthy boundary so as not to subject herself to her stepdaughter’s abuse.)
Ironically, Maggie was an atheist and Kelly was a devout Catholic. Kelly never tried to convert her, (although would have liked to!). Because she allowed Maggie to be who she was without judgment, she found out soon enough, you don’t need a particular belief to have faith. In fact, Kelly found out that Maggie had a lot of love in her heart, which, to Kelly, was all that mattered.
This attitude allowed Maggie to feel heard and understood. By allowing Maggie to be who she was, warts and all, Kelly managed to build an understanding relationship with Maggie and eventually helped her accept the fact that she had another mother in her life.
But the story doesn’t end there. About ten years after Kelly married Maggie’s father, Maggie was diagnosed with a rare blood disease. Her odds of survival were next to nil. Who do you think she wanted by her side as she went through the terrible medical ordeal that followed? You got it! Kelly! Although she loved them both, it was the second mom who happened to be the most instrumental, because Kelly was a physician’s assistant. With her extensive knowledge of medical terminology and her ability to explain complex concepts in a simple way, Kelly was able to help everyone understand the medical lingo.
Despite the fact that her doctors gave Maggie less than a year to live, she ended up living for 10 more years with her illness. Ten! In the process, her parents, all three of them, were with her every step of the way, and, after a brave battle, she died peacefully at 43 years old last year, in the presence of those who loved her, including her two moms and dad.
It is easy to preach, but to teach by example is what counts. Kelly’s story helps me make difficult decisions in my life and gives me the faith that no matter how hard things appear, I can push through with the right attitude and determination. Her influence is not just something that I carry with me in my life, it has become a strong source of guidance and comfort and a force I turn to, like the power of light, which helps guide me through the darkest of times.
Stancy Touching real life story I have written an article,” Fairy” mothers based on my experience. I will send it by e mail to you
Oh, Prema! I am SO happy to hear from you. I’ve been thinking SO MUCH about you! Sending light and love and good health! 🤍
Thank you Stancy I am horizontal 24 +7 after a fall from the stairs five weeks back with right leg fractured toes and left knee with heavy plaster. Wheeled to the toilet and sponge bath It will be continued for the next two months Thank god I have assistance at home leisure sans work is not enjoyable I am allowed
half an hour sitting time from this week So here I am !
Oh, Prema! All I can say is I am just happy you are okay although, I’m sure, certainly uncomfortable. My heart goes out to you. 🤍🤍
Sounds like Kelly took the high road… how wonderful for all the family!
What a beautiful story, Stacy! It’s real life and so moving – I was crying! That truly is the power of love. Sometimes, it is hard to have faith during dark times – but there is always a light out there. Thank you for your beautiful writing, as always!
Hmm. I can’t see a comment there, Stacy. Much love, though!
LOL! Just a couple of hearts! (Sending you much LOVE!!!)