| Dorothy is pictured above with Oliver,|
our 9-year-old Manx kitty.
© Photo by Diane Weidenbenner
Dorothy was a district sales manager for Avon for 31 years and retired some time ago. She was a model business woman back in the day when women usually stayed home and raised kids. Dorothy and Bernie raised three boys and a girl, all while Dorothy worked for Avon and Bernie ran a successful tractor dealership. In her tenure with Avon, Dorothy received a new car every two years and won a white mink stole, which she gave to one of her Avon ladies. Her region was ranked in the top 10% for U.S. sales due to Dorothy and her team of representatives (she lives in Jasper, Ind.)
It's a rare opportunity that we don't run into someone, or see a woman in a photograph, that Dorothy doesn't recognize as one of "her" Avon reps. During our visit, Dorothy shared her photo album from the year that she won a trip to Hawaii and the stole. The photos were professionally taken and arranged in a beautiful album that was given to Dorothy after the awards event.
Although she's retired, I can certainly see why she was successful. No one can say "no" to Dorothy. This is a woman who makes yummy chicken noodle soup or chili and gives you a container-full, when she visits or you visit her. If try to decline, Dorothy finds a way to put the food into your car before you leave. She's subtle and persistent - two great qualities of a successful salesperson. And, she does it all while smiling and hugging you. Those Avon customers never knew what hit them! She has passed her sales acumen on to her daughter, Lisa, who has a successful career at a software solutions company.
I enjoy hearing her stories. It was an important time in her life and it's nice that she is willing to share it with us. She's thoughtful and kind. She loves Bernie, still, and I can tell that they've grown together (instead of apart) during their marriage. She encourages me to be the best wife to her son that I can be. Joe has received a lot of good qualities from both his mom and dad, and when I spend time with them, it reminds me of all of his strong, wonderful qualities. Mother's Day is about appreciating all the "mother" figures that God brings into our lives. Today and always I'm grateful for my mom, my grandmother and Dorothy, who has opened her heart to me as her son's wife and daughter-in-law.