Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

My husband, Joe's, mother and father came up to visit us today, on Mother's Day. They just entered their 80s but you wouldn't know it - Bernie still mows the yards at their rental properties and they both are avid golfers. Dorothy attends church regularly and helps distribute the Eucharist to nursing homes.
Dorothy is pictured above with Oliver,
our 9-year-old Manx kitty.
© Photo by Diane Weidenbenner

Joe and I don't have children but Dorothy has "adopted" our kitties and dog, Hershey, as her grandpets. She's Grandma Dots.

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.


Anne K Albert said...

Lovely post, and like you, I'm fortunate to have an older lady in my life who inspires me to be all I can be. If I can be like her when I'm 92, I'll be blessed!

Cathy said...

Inspiring! My own mother's funeral was one year ago on Mother's day. She lived to be 88, but really, I stopped knowing her when she was about 73, and began to suffer from Alzheimer's. Still, she wasn't as accomplished as your loved one, but she was a wonderful, loving mother.

Georgina Morales said...

What an amazing woman. I, myself, am a lousy seller, unable to sell water in the desert. A lovely tribute to a very special lady. Well done.