I Have Been Blessed With My Husband’s Daughter

And today is her thirtieth birthday

Michelle Jaqua


Mike, Kelsey, and me. Author’s photo.

I have to rave a bit about my daughter.

I know she isn’t my daughter by blood. I didn’t even know her when she was a little girl. But, she is still my daughter, even if it’s by marriage.

My daughter, Kelsey. I love her.

When I first met her, I was so nervous. She was living in Santa Cruz at the time, and her dad and I flew down to see her.

Mike was very casual about it, but that’s how he is with most everything.

Me? I wanted to make a good impression because I liked, nay loved, this man with whom I’d been spending most of my time. But I think I did pretty good at keeping my cool.

We drove to her apartment and out walks this beautiful girl with alabaster skin and strawberry-colored hair, with a sweet demeanor and an open heart. I liked her immediately.

She was accepting of me, even though I was just another woman who was coming into her life through her dad.

We spent the weekend on walking in downtown and on the Santa Cruz boardwalk, and window shopping in Carmel. We sat in a nice courtyard restaurant and had a great dinner. We left for home, and she gave me a big hug. I didn’t see her for a while after that first time.

On Christmas, I sent her a gift massage. She thanked me, and said she’d never had a massage before. ‘Oh,’ I thought, ‘this girl should be spoiled more.’

I didn’t really get to know her until she moved back home a year later. That’s when I got to see her true personality. She has a passion for social justice unmatched by anyone I’ve ever known. She is clearly and rightfully concerned about the future of her generation. She is wicked smart and can out-debate the most righteous, right-wing, misogynistic white male with very little effort on her part. She typically leaves them spitting mad, and it’s hilarious. “Bravo!” I say to myself after witnessing her wrath against injustice.

She’s also what I’d call multitalented. I wish I had her creativity. Not only does she draw, but she also creates beautiful pieces of glasswork, and she writes.



Michelle Jaqua

Advocate for Women / Owner of Lipedema and Me and The Virago