We all have downs in our lives, moments that drive us to wonder how much worse things can get and how much more we can take. Those moments pass, we keep going, and move on. What keeps me going? My motivation, my inspiration comes from the people I love. This is my inspiration, my family: my parents, my siblings, my children, and my husband.
Those days the bills stack up so high that I feel like I am drowning I think of my dad. He never gave up. He worked, up to four jobs at one time, to support a family of nine, without food stamps, Medicaid, or government assistance. He always told us that wasn’t a way of life, you work for what you need in life. This is not meant to degrade or belittle those who need the help, he just didn’t want his children to see it as a means of living. Even my father, now advanced in years needs help to pay for his medical care and daily prescriptions that he requires for his aging, ailing body. There are days that I watch my father struggling to get around, needing help to get out of chairs, giving in to the pain, and I find myself holding back the tears welling up in my eyes. My sadness comes for so many reasons but the one that bothers me most is the one I never realized would come, a realization that the superhero I always saw my father as when I was a little girl, is not invincible. He will always be my hero, my inspiration to succeed, as a person, as a parent, and as a superhero to my children.
Why is she my inspiration? I can tell you in these simple words. She is the strongest woman I have ever met. She has been faced with, fought, and beat breast cancer, not once but twice. She was always there for me, through every tear and every time I called, “Mama”, she was there. Her hugs taught me what loves feels like, she continues to teach me today. My mother shows me every day the strength that motherhood gives us. When she was first diagnosed with breast cancer she told me, “I am not going anywhere I have babies to watch grow up.” She was there years later at my graduation, then my wedding. Eighteen years later she was diagnosed again. I remember seeing the tears and anger in her eyes, but again she said, “I am not going anywhere I have grandbabies to watch grow up.” She is still here, every day, with me, showing me how to be strong, how to live, and how to love. Every day, as I wonder what the future holds, she gives me hope.
With six sisters it has been a crazy ride but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Some have taught me to be strong, some have taught me to be tough, some have taught me to fight, and some have taught me to keep looking for the good in it all; all of this has made me who I am today. In a family of seven daughters we covered most of the personalities. I have a sister who is the tough one, one who is the overly happy one, one that is so positive you want to hug them like a teddy bear until the eyes pop off, one that is so strong that she seems pushy, one that is pushy, one that is well black and white and impolite in between (every family has one, I wasn’t going to pretend I didn’t), and the black sheep (that would be me). I love all my sisters, they are all a part of me. I love them all but I am a bit rough around the edges and it makes a difference. There is one that in the last few years I have connected with more as an adult, she has been there to guide and support me through the trials my life as a woman and mother have brought to me. She has been a rock to me, always there, and to be perfectly honest, one of the people
I would feel broken without in my life. When our lives and sanity are tested, when it seems the storm will never end she doesn’t come with an umbrella of positivity trying to make me see the sun but she understands that I can’t always see the sun and so she stands in the rain with me. About 15 years ago I got something I thought I never would, when one of my sisters married I didn’t just get a brother in law I got a big brother. There really is no better way to describe it than I got that big brother I know I can turn to when I need a shoulder to cry on. A lesson learned from each of them, all different but all necessary. These incredible people are not just my siblings, they are my friends, some of the very best.
Oh my! Kids, we love them but they drive us up the wall as they get older. Who doesn’t love a baby? They are adorable but the true test comes years later, the older they get the more they seem to test us. I have been a child and there is nothing my parents wouldn’t have done for me, they continue to prove that every day. I am a parent now and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my children. They are the reason I wake in the morning and even on the hardest of days give me the motivation to get up, to rise and not just live but make every effort to improve our lives because isn’t the mission of every parent to give them everything we can? I want to give them everything I can, not just material possessions but the ideals and values to make them wonderful, kind-hearted adults who can love their children the way we love them.
Through the ups and downs, he has always been my best friend. He is the last thought on my mind every night and the first thought every morning. His job keeps him far from me almost every day but never could he be closer to my heart. No struggle has torn us apart, though they may have come close. He will always be the great love of my life. Frustrations come and go yet his family is the most important thing to him. From a thousand miles away, on a blacktop or a country road his words of love will always echo to me,
“I’m never alone out here. You are always at the edge of my lights at night.”
“As long as you and the kids are taken care of I’ll be fine.”
He is my husband, my love, my best friend.
When you feel frustrated and tired, step back and think of your inspirations. May they help you realize that there is no limit to what can be achieved.