What could lead an only son to refuse his mother’s presence at his wedding? Jonathan March and Danielle Fleming had been together since college, and after 11 years they decided it was time to make it official.
The two had been together through thick and thin, and Jonathan had been unswerving in his support after Danielle was involved in a horrific car crash that left her with scars on her face and body.
It was Jonathan who nursed her and worked to rebuild her self-esteem after the successive surgeries left her with thick pink scars on her chest, arms, and on her jaw.
Danielle covered up her facial scar with thick makeup and her arms and chest with long sleeves and high necklines. Jonathan knew that despite his reassurances, she was very self-conscious.
Jonathan kept proposing wedding dates, and Danielle kept putting him off. Jonathan finally sat down with his fiancée and got the truth out of her. A tearful Danielle explained that she was embarrassed by her scars, and she was saving up for additional surgery.
She wanted to have the surgery before the wedding, and walk down the aisle in a lovely gown that left her shoulders and arms bare, her dream dress. Jonathan, who had recently received a hefty bonus from his company, told her to schedule the procedure immediately.
The surgery was a great success, and the thick scars that had disfigured Danielle’s arms, torso and face were reduced to thin pink lines, which the surgeon reassured them would fade to nothing within a few months.
Happily, Danielle there herself into planning the perfect wedding. She booked the date, picked the venue, and had the invitations printed. Jonathan was overjoyed to see her blossom into her old confident dynamic self.
Danielle was determined to make the wedding a family event so she invited Jonathan’s mother, her own mother, and her sister to go shopping for her gown at a local bridal shop.
Jonathan received some unpleasant calls from elderly relatives telling him off.
The dresses were as lovely as anything Danielle could have imagined, and she started trying on her favorites, stepping out of the change room to model them for Jonathan’s mother and her own mom and sister, Serena.
Danielle put on a beautiful dress that bared her chest and arms and clung to her shoulders on the thinnest of straps, something that she would never have worn before the surgery.
Jonathan’s mom, who was sitting on an armchair in the private waiting room looking bored, immediately sat up straight when Danielle stepped out in the dress. She looked her up and down.
Danielle dear, I remember your scars as being so thick and red…Are you wearing makeup on your body? If you stain the dresses you have to buy them!”
Danielle laughed happily: “No, Mrs. March! I had scar reduction surgery two months ago!”
Mrs. March stared. “You did? I thought your insurance didn’t pay for that.”
Danielle smiled. “No, they don’t. Your wonderful son paid for it, as a wedding present.”
Mrs. March looked as if she was sucking on a lemon, but she didn’t say another word. In fact, she was practically dumb for the rest of the afternoon, while Danielle and her family laughed and talked happily about the wedding.
Three days later things came to a head when Jonathan visited his parents to bring his father some contract proposals for the company they shared — and which Jonathan ran.
Jonathan and his father were poring over profit projections when Mrs. March sailed into her husband’s office. “Jonathan,” she said, “I need to talk to you about this wedding.”
Jonathan kissed his mother affectionately. “Hi, mom! I know you went dress shopping with Danielle and her fam! Thanks for that! I know it’s not exactly your thing…”
“I must say, Jonathan, I had quite a shock.”
Jonathan frowned. “A shock, mom? Over what?”
“I saw Danielle’s scars. I saw what she talked you into doing.”
“Doing? What are you talking about mom?” Jonathan asked, puzzled.
“The plastic surgery! Disgusting! How could she?”
Jonathan was starting to get angry. “Disgusting? What do you mean?”
“It’s indecent! Getting you to pay for her vanity! You can’t marry her, Jonathan, she isn’t worthy of you!”
WHAT?” Jonathan exploded, “How dare you use those words with regards to the woman I love?”
“It’s true!” Mrs. March stood her ground. “She’s a gold digger, is what she is…Disgusting… Are you paying for that awful dress too?”
“No mother, Danielle is paying for her own dress, and believe me, she’s no gold digger. She’s the sweetest, most honest woman I know.”
“You have to call off the wedding, Jonathan, I’m telling you!”
Meanwhile, Mr. March, who had been quietly listening to the whole discussion stepped in. “Marie, please darling. Our son loves this girl, and she’s a good girl. Don’t spoil this moment for him.”
“Spoil this moment? I’m trying to stop this creature from spoiling the rest of his life!” she turned to her son again, “Call it off, Jonathan.”
Jonathan shook his head. “No, mom, I won’t. But if you don’t like the woman I’m marrying you’d better not come to the wedding.”
Mrs. March nearly fainted with shock. “Are you excluding me from your wedding? Over this disgusting, vain girl?”
“Yes, I am. And watch the adjectives, mom, don’t push me.”
Mrs. March turned to her husband. “Darling, are you going to let our only son do this to me? Say something!”
Mr. March turned to Jonathan and gripped his hand. “Son, you do what you have to do to be happy. I hope you’ll let me be there by your side when you marry Danielle.”
Mrs. March screeched. “How could you! Taking up against your own wife over a gold digger!”
But Mr. March had had more than enough. “A gold digger, Marie? Are you sure you’re talking about Danielle and not yourself?
Mrs. March gasped with indignation. “What? How can you think…”
Mr. March shook his head sadly. “I found out a year after we married. You were running around on me just days before our wedding, Marie, with that trucker. But you wanted a good life, and I was your ticket.”
Mrs. March started crying. “I love you, you know I do…We have a wonderful son…”
Mr. March replied quietly: “Yes, we do, and that is why I’m standing by him, and the woman he loves, and who loves him.”
Of course, Mrs. March quickly gathered herself a whole army of supporters. She called up every family member and friend she could think of and poured out her version of Jonathan’s shocking betrayal of his own mother.
Not everyone she called believed her — Mrs. March was well-known for her sour disposition — but quite a few did. Jonathan received some unpleasant calls from elderly relatives telling him off.
He replied to them all with unfailing politeness and told them they would be very welcome at the wedding. Some of the guests declined the invitation but most accepted.
The wedding day arrived, and Danielle walked down the aisle in her beautiful gown, glowing with happiness and confidence. By Jonathan’s side, acting as his best man was Mr. March
As for Mrs. March, she stayed home that day and many other days when her husband visited their son and daughter-in-law for Sunday lunches, barbecues, and birthday parties.
Three years later, Mrs. March picked up the phone and humbly apologized to her son and to Danielle for having offended them and asked if they would allow her to see her newborn granddaughter.
From then on Mrs. March was transformed. She became the most supportive and adoring mother-in-law to Danielle, and a doting grandmother to the three babies they produced in quick succession over the next five years.
As a result, Mrs. March’s relationship with her husband changed radically. After so many years of marriage, they started building a loving relationship. The airing of the past helped them solidify their relationship.