My parents were divorced when I was very young and my Mom remarried when I was 9. My stepfather was - and is - one of the rare people (but, maybe not so rare, since it has been the rule rather than the exception in my life) who absolutely accept their spouse's children as their own. He did it so well that he lost the "step" prefix and my sister and I - with some fits and starts that were largely our fault (and more mine than my sister's) - continued our relationship with him after he divorced my Mom when we were young adults.
Dad was lucky. He remarried a wonderful woman. One of the ways in which she was wonderful was that she saw it as her duty - or maybe her privilege - to act in a way that strengthened the relationship between her husband and his ex-wife's children.
Barb was not a person who did splashy things. She was someone who committed numerous acts of kindness and decency - a smart and wise woman who figured out that loving was a pretty good way to live. I am so sorry that Aidan Esenberg (5)had a diminished opportunity and that Caleb Esenberg (3 months) really had no opportunity to know my Mom. I also wish that they would have had the opportunity to know Barb.
Barb suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm two weeks ago and, after some complications of surgery, passed away. We are better for her example and diminished by her absence.