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 four truly motivating stories by the women who experienced them firsthand.
To say my childhood was unconventional would be an understatement. I was born the fourth child to a family of five children. When I was born, my oldest sister was 19, my only brother was 17, and my closest sister was 3. The day after my first birthday my baby sister was born. Throughout most of my childhood, my mother was ill. Initially, the doctors diagnosed her with gall stones, but eventually the diagnosis changed to pancreatic cancer. I was six when my mother died.
Before her death, she realized that my father could not raise three little girls under the age of 10. It was decided that we would go live with my 26-year-old sister and her family. I missed my mother tremendously, but I had all my sisters with me and we leaned on each other a lot. I’ll never forget the day when my sister got the notice in the mail that my dad wanted custody of us. He won and we were sent to live with him in Alabama, but he had his own business and worked long hours, so he was rarely around. We were once again left motherless. My sisters and I spent a lot of time with our aunt and grandmothers, but no one could take the place of our mother.
This is the time I began to paint. My mother had painted for years, and I can remember as a child just staring at her paintings and looking at the strokes that were made by her hand – a hand that I would never see again, but the paintings I would have forever. Those paintings have been with me and my siblings our whole lives. They bring us so much joy.
Art has been my way of coping with the pain of losing my mother. Someone once said, “Being an artist means forever healing your own wounds and at the same time endlessly exposing them,” and I find this to be very true. When I painted back in those days, it was a form of healing and offered an avenue to express the pain and instability I had gone through growing up. Through art and therapy, I was able to accept all the things that had happened and use them to create something beautiful. Today I still paint, and I primarily focus on beautiful, happy things like flowers and butterflies.
I have children of my own now, and I try to be all the things for them that I didn’t have as a child. I find so much joy in being a homemaker and creating a home that is cozy and safe for them. I relish taking them to school, watching them play soccer, helping with homework, and all the other things that moms do. As Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard once said, “In the end, I’m the only one who can give my children a happy mother who loves life.”
Vikki Bible, Lookout Mountain