This is not my story but the Never Quit story of my Hero. I am sorry if this is a little long but she deserves for her entire story to be told. And it starts at her very beginning.
She was the product of a rape. Her mother was raped by someone in the family of the person that raised her as her father, and she still is not 100% sure who her real father is. She grew up in a household with two alcoholic parents and for the most part had to take care of herself from a very young age. She also had to raise her two younger sisters. She would have to walk to the local bar to take cash from her parents in order to go to the store and buy food or else her parents would spend it all on drinking. However she didn’t let any of this stop her. She was a model student, active in the drama club and the church, and became an amazing trumpet player in the school band. As a teen she met her sole mate. Even though his family treated her bad, telling her she was a gold digger and no good (they themselves were far from wealthy), she never let them get her down. They were together all through high school and ran away together as soon as they graduated. They married in Georgia while he was going through infantry school, he had joined the Army after seeing John Wayne in “The Green Berets”. Shortly after arriving to their first duty station, Fort Bragg, she herself became a victim of an assault and rape. She didn’t let this ruin her though, instead growing stronger from it and becoming a mother of 2 during their time in North Carolina.
Their life together was not easy by any means. They ended up getting divorced and moving on. However after they both ended up moving back home to New Mexico they began dating again and ended up get married again. Starting their new lives together was a struggle. He was a welder in the oil field of Southeast New Mexico. They moved to a new house and a new town at least once a year. One year was spent living in a 19 foot camper in her sisters backyard with 2 small children. But they never quit on each other again. She never quit on him, even when his alcoholism took him to drinking 3 cases of beer a day. As their children grew older She never quit on him and they finally became stable and stopped moving around. Through all the fighting and drinking and him almost dying from the alcohol, through all the foreclosures and bankruptcies and struggle…. she Never Quit on him.
After their kids graduated and left home her daughter got married and became pregnant. They themselves were not stable and ready for kids, so they asked my Hero and her husband to take the baby for a little while until they could take care of her themselves. That was 16 years ago and my hero has since adopted that baby as her own kid.
In 2008 her husband, her sole mate and love of her life since she was a teenager died of cancer. Apparently being an oil field welder was very bad for your health. After he hid the cancer for more than a year she finally found out when the Dr accidentally let it slip one day. She never quit on him through all of his illness. After he died a close friend of theirs helped her deal with the loss and they eventually began dating. During this time she was being stalked by someone who would break into her home and leave rose petals all over her bed and room. One morning when she went to take the garbage outside he was waiting on the porch with a log from the firewood stand and attacked her and beat her with the log.
She survived and got training and received her CCW license. For months this man was staking her and terrorizing her. One night the motion alarm went off and the lights outside turned on. She went out the back door to see what was going on and he was there again, waiting to attack her. She drew her pistol and fired before he could get to her. The man fled and never returned. The cops know she hit him because they followed his blood trail to where his car was parked. They later found out he made it to Mexico before dying of his wounds.
Not too long after this her and her new boyfriend got married. They were wonderful together and loved to travel around and take cruises together. Then it happened AGAIN. Her second husband died of cancer. Through all of this she NEVER QUIT on life or on her God. She ended up writing a book that has been published that helps people, men AND women, who lose a spouse. It isn’t a “Woe is me life sucks” book. It is to help with all the stuff you can’t think about when you are grieving. Don’t forget you still have bills that need to be paid, call this person to shut his phone off, call that person to close accounts…. things that need to be done that she learned about by losing her two husbands.
While dealing with all of this she also became an ordained minister and grief counselor and travels to sites of disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes to help people find hope. Her adopted daughter goes with her to help children. They are an amazing team. They go on yearly mission trips to spread the word of Jesus Christ and to help those less fortunate that themselves. She still does interviews for her book and keeps up with a widows and widowers group and helps them struggle through the grief.
Through all of these trials, all of the heartache, all of the struggles she grew up with she Never Quit on life. She Never Quit on God. Today she is a teacher, an ordained crisis Minister, a mom to a high schooler and a grandmother to 5 kids.
Oh and did I mention, she is also my Mom? Yes, my hero is my Mom. She is the reason I am the man that I am today. My father was a good person and a real good dad that taught me a lot. But it was watching and learning from her that shaped the kind of father and husband I have become. Watching her while growing up I saw her Never Quit attitude. I learned how to take the hits, stand up and push through to the other side even stronger than before.
My mom is my Hero. I wake up each day hoping that I can accomplish something that day to make her proud of the man I have become. She is my ultimate NEVER QUIT inspiration.
I know this was long but thank you for reading this,
Chief Petty Officer, US Coast Guard
USCGC Maui, Manama, Bahrain