A healing dance

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Mom and Dad dancing. Yes, dancing. That’s where my healing happened.

September 22, 2007, Eduardo and I’s wedding day. One of the happiest and most nerve wracking days of my life. Here we were at our reception, basking in the afterglow that we had made it through our ceremony, our first dance, and dinner. It was beyond glorious, the hall was filled with close to 200 of our friends and family. A day I will never ever forget. Sometime after dinner my Dad gets up, despite his fear of public speaking, to deliver a wonderful toast in our honor with my Mom by his side, that alone left me feeling an intense amount of emotions, but then he grabs my mom by the hand, Neon Moon by Brooks and Dunn starts over the speakers, my parents begin to whirl in each others arms and two step their way across the floor. And I am taken right back to my childhood.

My mom (Taryn) and dad (Dan) dancing their two step on my wedding day in 2007

Quietly my heart broke open, all the years of trying to understand, to rationalize,to find myself in the meaning of it all, washed away and I watched two people who despite the odds, loved each other in a way I doubt many people understand. The kind of love that builds from years in the trenches side by side, deep mutual understanding, hard fought respect and a gentle acceptance of reality. And as they danced, my eyes filled with tears and my love for the two people that raised me grew exponentially. Those two out there on the dance floor were the parents I got to enjoy for most of my young life. Parents that danced in the living room to anything and everything. A mom who danced for years in a clogging troop in Pasadena, CA much to my pre-teen chagrin. The parents that square danced (yes, really) together once a week. A mom and a dad who did all of the things that a traditional family do, just in the most non-traditional way.

It was particularly poignant at that moment back in 2007, as mom and dad had gotten divorced only a few months before the wedding. It had been a sore spot for me, like that little safety net that I knew was only theoretical had torn apart. My parents hadn’t been married in the traditional sense since I was 6 years old and even less so after Dad came out when I was 17. But it was this invisible cord that I didn’t realize was so indescribably important to me.

To put it bluntly, I had absolutely no idea how much seeing my parents as the human beings they are and their ability to overcome the odds and multitudes of obstacles to remain best friends would affect me on the deepest level. It healed a part of me that I didn’t know was hurting until I faced this in my own life at the end of my marriage to my best friend, Eduardo.

I draw on this memory tremendously when the road of divorce and life’s big changes start to drag me down. I think back to watching my parents dance in a room full of our blended family and friends and it fills me with courage to do the right thing at all costs. It has since made me realize the power that love has as a driving force in our lives. Things don’t always work out the way we wanted or expected them to, but you can with a little humility and a whole lot of perseverance make that love into so much more than just a marriage, or a contract, you make it into true companionship.


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  1. Casey that is a beautiful perspective! Thank you for your thoughts. Taryn and I had some wonderful times raising two sweet girls, being a family unit and learning a new life style. I wouldn’t change a thing. As Garth Brooks said ” I would have missed the Dance”

  2. That is a beautiful perspective! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Taryn and I had some of the best times ever raising two sweet girls and being a family unit while learning a new life style. I would not changed a thing. As Garth Brooks said “I would of missed the Dance”

  3. Mark Knudsen says:

    Casey your parents are wonderful people they loved you and Cindy despite the issues at the time I wish more people were like them!! Love you lots and miss you!!

  4. Wow !!! Thank you Casey
    This warms my Heart…I love you 214teens 🤗🎈

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