Motivating Stories from Local Women
Every woman has a story to tell, and no two stories are alike. Meet the women who have persevered through challenges and tribulations and come out the other side stronger than ever. These unique individuals have seen their fair share of adversity but continue to inspire those around them with the lessons they have learned and their love of life. Read on for a truly motivating story by a woman who experienced them firsthand.
Photo by Emily Pérez Long / Photos taken on location at The Chattanoogan Hotel
Oréan Collier, Brainerd
As early as I can remember, I have always been a creative person. I loved painting, and I was married with one child. When my marriage didn’t work, I became a single mother to my beautiful daughter London. It was the two of us through it all – the good times and the bad. I was always trying to make her things, whether it was clothes or a fabric handbag. London was constantly amazed that I could create beautiful things from seemingly nothing.
Fast forward over a decade and my daughter was now an adult, so I began following my dream of being a designer and painter. She was a mother of two who was going to school and working, and she brought a lot of joy to everyone around her. But in 2019, I got a call at work that changed everything – my daughter was no longer with us. I vividly remember just screaming as people came to check on me.
I lost my only child, and everything around me was a fog. I started going to therapy to cope with the loss. I was angry, sad, hurt, and confused. One minute I seemed to be getting a grip just to find myself at an all-time low the next. I was hurting, but I knew my daughter was with the Father in Heaven, who was taking care of her now. I had to come to terms with the fact that she is at peace.
It was way too easy to fall into depressive habits, but I had to keep going, to keep moving forward. I had to take care of myself and be strong for her girls. Not only did I need to support my grandchildren, I wanted to be a good role model for them. I worked toward my goals and dreams, finding a way to honor London in the process. Earlier this year, my children’s book Lasko the Artist was published. I wanted to show her daughters that you should never give up, and no matter what happens, you have to keep progressing.
I know that my daughter is smiling and is proud of me for picking myself up. If I chose to stay down, I would not be honoring her. I know I will see her again one day, and I let that bring purpose and encouragement to my life.