By late afternoon I had settled myself outdoors in a rocking Adirondack chair in the backyard next to a roaring fire with a blanket over my legs, a good book on my lap, and a cool drink on the wide flat armrest of the chair.
I'd enjoyed the company of each of my children earlier in the day and was now enjoying the quiet, surrounded by my thoughts. Then the patio door opened and out walked Jenny, my twenty-four-year-old stepdaughter. She's always a welcome sight, but I had figured she'd made plans for the whole day with her mother. They are very close.
With a beautiful smile on her face, she called out, "I couldn't let Mother's Day go by without coming to see you too."
She joined me by the fire. As we sat there together, sipping from our glasses, catching up on the family news, my thoughts went back to the cloudy spring day Vince and I got married on a hillside in Williamson County. The pictures of our freshly blended family were filled with grim-faced children—Jenny was seventeen, Matt twelve, Millie ten, and Sarah seven. How many conflicting emotions were at work that day? All of us had been through several years of uncertainty and upheaval.