31 Days, 31 People
Day 25: MARY

It’s an early Christmas morning. As I sat down to consider who I’d write about this morning, the person that stands out and makes my heart smile with gratitude is my step-mom, Mary.

It’s quite a thought to imagine there could be someone on this planet, other than my mom, that could have put up with my dad enough to marry him. He was a good guy, yes, but he was not easy to live with. After my mom passed away, my dad was sad. Really sad. And lonely. A funny thing is how protective my sister and I became of him at that point. The timeline of it all is blurry in my mind. I remember him eventually going on a handful of dates, a few of which my sister and I were concerned about. Just like parents might be of their teenage child’s first few dates. Then he was introduced to Mary.

Mary was different. It took a while for me to get to know her, they were always busy doing something together, but I liked her immediately. She had this confidence and certainty about who she was and you could sense it in her right away. She was a hard worker. She was a single mom with a teenage daughter and she had her shit together. Mary was a strong, independent woman. I loved this. And I knew if she could put up with my dad, she’d be really good for him.

The awesomeness of Mary actually multiplied exponentially after my dad’s passing. Sometimes when a family member passes away folks will bicker about who gets what and what goes where. My sister and I were never like that. No bickering over stuff, not after our brother’s passing, not after our mom’s passing and most definitely not after our dad’s. Our closeness and personal relationship will always be more important than any material nonsense. Mary was no different than us in that. That has helped the healing process so much. By far contrast, my dad had a lot of miscellaneous ‘stuff’ to sort through, I have a hard time imagining what my sister and I would have done without Mary.

Beyond just dealing with the huge loss of my dad, Mary also lost both, her mom and dad, within the year following. So much all at once. And she just keeps on moving. She stays so positive and strong. What amazes me still is how I feel like we’re closer than ever with her. She’s a great person to have in our lives. She’s helped us in so many ways without a moment’s hesitation. Mary is the kind of woman I want my girls to be around and learn from.

Mary, I am grateful for you on so many levels. You are an inspiration in your strength, in your work ethic, and in your kindness. I hope that you know how much I appreciate and love you.



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