When you google the word “bonus” one of the first definitions you’ll find is this, “something welcome and often unexpected that accompanies and enhances something that is itself good.” This is the word that’s been rattling around in my head since a Christmas conversation with Grandma Mary, as our kids have come to call her. She and Dad married almost five years ago after they had both walked through the grief of losing a spouse of many years. I knew then that they brought joy and love to each other’s lives. But what I could never have anticipated at the time was the unexpected grace of a bonus mom that I was to enjoy more and more with each passing year.
I’ve heard some use the term “bonus mom” in a negative way. For me, it’s more about the welcome and unexpected way Mary has enhanced this step-mom title. The title Mom is one of the highest of honors in my book, and to be graced with the good of my own Mama along with the good of Mary, my bonus mom, is well beyond what I could have imagined.
I see this good in so many ways …
It’s the way she smiles at my Dad when he’s being goofy and making us laugh.
It’s the way she honors my Mama and her memory while building her own relationships with this new family into which she has married.
It’s the way she chose gifts for our kids that first very first Christmas we shared together. Her attention to detail in finding the perfect surprise for each of them was both amazing and comforting, and it continues to this day.
It’s the way she works so hard to have just the right foods to accommodate my wacky allergy diet when we come for a visit. It’s no small task and she always works to include little treats that she thinks I might enjoy.
It’s the way she tears up and cherishes tenderness shown towards her, whether it’s time together or words or a small gift. She is as good at receiving such treasures as she is at giving them.
It’s the calm graceful way she lives each day, usually humming and living in the present of each and every moment as they come.
So thank you, Mary. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for loving us.
Thank you for being the welcome and unexpected that accompanies and enhances the good that is being a mom.
Thank you for choosing not just to be Dad’s wife, but for choosing to be my bonus mom. Thank you for choosing to be our bonus mom.
We love you.