Yesterday, I sat down to check my email. I was surprised to find that my sister, Mary has nominated me for "Milwaukee Woman of the Year". For those of you curious enough, you can read what she wrote here:
While I am truly honored, I couldn't help but think, why me? I don't do anything special. I'm a mom who works like many others. Then the thought came to me that my sister is the one who truly deserves the award (so, nominate her, right? Well, my niece, her daughter beat me to it!). I don't think, ok, I know, that what she doesn't see is what a strong, powerful woman she is.
First and foremost, she is in the middle of raising seven (that's right seven) children who right now run from age 20 down to 7. This is no small feat. I often think to myself when I am trying to decide how to handle something new with my own kids, How would Mary handle this?
She is such an example of motherhood to me. The fact that she is raising her children (along with her husband-he deserves credit, too!) to become people of faith is amazing to me. Her family goes against a lot of the norms of society. They have curfews. They have consequences when things go wrong. They tell their children no, they can't have everything. This fact alone is important to me because I do see a lot of the problems with today's youth actually stems from parents inability to say no. I have seen and heard parents who are more concerned with being their child's friend than being their parent. Trust me, my Mom was my parent, not my friend. There was plenty of time for that once I was well into adulthood. With my Mom gone, I do often turn to my sister as that example of how to parent the tough stuff.
My sister has also had to deal with many things that would make people give up. She has a son with Juvenile Diabetes. Last year, one of her daughters had to go into treatment for an eating disorder. She also has another daughter with a Nonverbal Learning Disability. She handles each of these situations with such strong faith and conviction. That is what I love most about my sister, her faith. When things seem darkest, she remembers that if she prays and trusts, she can handle anything.
I guess I just wanted to write about what an inspiration my sister is to me. I am flattered and honored that she nominated me, but I hope that she wins. Even if neither of us do, we are both winners because we have each other!