I have had the privilege of having so many inspirational women in my life as role models, mentors and friends- women who build each other up and strengthen each other. As I reflect on the many amazing women who have touched my life and impacted me in so many ways over the years, I see the beautiful faces of so many friends, family, coworkers, sisters and neighbors. However, the one who stands out as the one who has shaped so much of who I am and what I strive to be like is my mother.
My mom has such a magnetic, dynamic personality that it is hard to even put into words all that she encompasses. She is a fireball of energy and is ready and willing to help anyone at anytime. Growing up, she could make us laugh so hard our sides hurt in one instance, embarrass us with things like random pop-ins to fix our hair at school, and turn around and inspire us with her tenacity and passionate spirit. She raised ten kids, and upon my youngest brother going to kindergarten, she went back to school to earn her nursing degree and has been a hospice nurse ever since. She has taught me the lesson of compassion and selflessness as I watched by her example take in extra children in need to live with us from time to time, sometimes allowing them to live with us for years. She opened her home for get-togethers with Sudan refugees, inner-city kids and really to anyone that we brought to her attention of needing a little help. On many occasions, lonely neighbors or a spouse of a past hospice patient would join our family for holidays because my mother wanted them to have a place to feel welcome.
My mom has taught me the lesson of being giving and to give without hesitation. Not only does she give when it has been easy to give, but I watched her give when times were tight for us growing up, which was such a valuable lesson. She always found a way to serve and to give of herself and encouraged all of us to do the same and most importantly to put our faith above all else. I am beyond blessed to call her my mother and to have her as such a role model in life.
This month is our women’s issue. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about some of the inspirational women right here in our community, each one making an impact in their own way. Their stories definitely inspired me to do more. I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I did and that you feel inspired too.