Feel-Good Friday: A Young Doctor's Desire for Her Deceased Mother to Meet Her Fiancé Gets Fulfilled in a Most Serendipitous Way

Kelly and Jaret's Engagement Photo (Credit: Kelly Ellen MD Instagram)

The end of May and Memorial Day typically signal the unofficial beginning of Summer. It also is the unofficial beginning of wedding season! Technically there really is no such thing, as with the new trend of destination weddings, people get married at any time. A friend recently eloped and went to the West Indies to get hitched, and my nephew got married last September in Turks & Caicos, so apparently it’s a thing. The blessing part is that people are still choosing marriage in a culture that seems hostile to it. So, this week’s Feel-Good Friday celebrates a unique engagement that was a lifetime in the making, even though the two participants did not know it at the time.


I did not get married until I was 41, so I had to watch most of my friends partner up and marry in their 20s and 30s, while I remained single. I was more than happy for them, but emotionally it wasn’t a fun time. Once a partner enters the picture, the dynamics of a relationship change and the people you did life with are essentially moving on without you. I remember one summer I went to 25 weddings, and I think I cried before every one. “Rejoice with those who rejoice…” as the scripture says, so after my sob fest, that’s what I did. Then came the babies. Another friend who also married later in life made a joke out of it using the Looney Tunes Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck hunting battle, “Duck Season/Rabbit Season.” Except she changed it to, “Wedding Season/Rabbit Season”!


This cartoon and her parody still make me giggle. But this story of Kelly and Jaret just made me cry—in a good way.

From Kelly’s Instagram:

Hi, I’m Kelly and this is my fiancé Jaret!

I had a Reel about our love story go viral and reach more than 8 million (!!!) people! Which means there’s a lot of new people in this community!! Welcome 🤗

Kelly is an interesting young woman. She put herself through medical school and also is a social media influencer because apparently, she has copious free time in her day. Kelly lost her mother when she was 16 years old, and they were very close. When Kelly thought about marriage, she would wish her mom would have lived long enough to have met her fiancé. As it turns out, Kelly ended up dating, and then getting engaged to the son of her mother’s best friend!


The Reel tells the story.


The fact that my Mom knew and loved Jaret since he was a baby has made our engagement feel that much sweeter.

But anyone else who is part of the dead parent club can attest to the fact that big life events always have a hint of sadness to them. I’m thinking about our future wedding planning and wishing my Mom was here to plan with us.

I know she would be so excited and happy for us ❤️

I can relate to this. My mother passed away four years prior to my meeting my husband. My husband’s father had also passed away recently, so we honored them both with a video that honored their lives and them giving us life. Kelly seems to be a resourceful and creative young woman, so I have no doubt she will find a way to honor her Mom on their day.

Kelly’s longer Instagram Reel gives more details on the whole engagement trip Jaret planned without her knowledge and the fuller story. Peep it here.

So would you call this serendipity? God’s Providence? Or beshert? (“Meant to be”), as my Jewish friends would say.

It’s a sweet and touching story nonetheless, and I love the joy in their coming together, as well as the way her family joined in on the surprise. Now well into my 50s and 15-plus years into my own marriage, I don’t get to too many weddings. When I taught Yoga in a studio a few years back, there were lots of Millennial and Gen Z Yogis getting partnered up and married, so, I sometimes had the privilege of experiencing Wedding Season once again, although this time without the crying beforehand. Now some of those young women are having babies, so lately, it’s been Rabbit Season.


The circle never ends, and thank God for that.

May your Memorial Day weekend be reflective.


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