Janet Jayne has been a "step-something" for most of her life—a step-daughter, a step-sister, a step-mother. And while she recognizes the struggles that are often a part of "blending" families, she also celebrates the love that brings new families together.
When she was young, Mary Curran Hackett's father gave her and her siblings frequent speeches about the importance of perseverance. What surprised her as an adult was how much he lived his "never give up" message toward her when she needed him the most.
Kim O'Connell's mother is Vietnamese, and her father is American. But since she was born and raised in the U.S., her mother insisted that her daughter be "Americanized" and only speak English. Now, Ms. O'Connell believes that learning her mother's native tongue can help her connect to the other half of her heritage.
As Brenda Holliday approached the age of 50, she began to see another woman in the mirror—her mother. As she started to recognize her mother's physical features in her own face, she came to believe that in more ways than one, she is her mother's daughter.
When Cherie Burbach was a young girl, she believed her father's cruel words defined her, and her only escape from his verbal assaults was to write about her emotions. Now, as an adult, she values her words over her father's, and she continues to write to express who she is.
Brighton Earley’s mom shops at a gas station because she can no longer afford to buy food at a regular grocery. At first Earley was ashamed to go on these shopping trips, but now the Los Angeles student believes they’ve taught her a valuable lesson.