A Dying Woman’s Last Request: Marry My Husband

This brings a new meaning to the whole Sister Wives concept.

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It’s a story ripped straight out of either a Jane Austen novel or a Lifetime movie.

According to the Associated Press, when Jackie DeVita, a 42-year-old mother of three school-age children, realized that she was dying of cancer, she made a special request of her sister, Colleen Leary: Take my husband and children. Ms. Leary knew she would raise the children, but it took her a while to get on board with the whole marry-my-husband thing. But, three months after Ms. Devita passed away from a massive brain tumor, Ms. Leary became the second Mrs. Richard DeVita.

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The story on MSNBC reads like fiction: Two sisters, so much alike they were frequently mistaken for twins, worked for the same successful endodontist in Florida. He fell in love and married one of the sisters, while the other sister never married but would spend a lot of time with the couple after their marriage. She became a surrogate mother to the couple’s three children. She was a frequent visitor to their palatial 101-acre ranch and 19,114-square-foot house. When Ms. Devita became ill, it was only natural that her sister would move in and help care for the family. Then in 2008, according to MSNBC, “[Ms. Devita] took off her wedding band, this band,” says Colleen, pointing to the ring on her left hand, “that Richard had given her, and she handed it to me, and I refused it. And she said: ‘I want you to have this. I want to know that this is the three of us. Don’t ever leave my kids.'”

After Ms. Devita passed, Ms. Leary stayed, but as she explained to the AP, “[She] did not like the idea of living in the DeVita house as a single woman, caring for her sister’s children with her grieving brother-in-law under the same roof.” So she married her sister’s husband, but only after Mr. Devita asked Mr. Leary for his daughter’s hand in marriage.

Again. Much like beauty, whether this story is caring or creepy is up to the beholder.

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