Our Women of Worth group choses a Mother of the Year for each Mother-Daughter Banquet. I was honored this year to receive this award. My mom had the privilege to write the tribute which is below. Thank you again, MOM, Cheryl, Sue and whoever else was involved. This will truly be a Mother's Day I won't forget.
Sarah Jean Avery was welcomed fresh from the hand of God into the home of Phillip and Cathy Avery and sister.....Naomi on July 16, 1977. Sarah was her parent's little "princess" which is the meaning of her name. She brought joy into their home. Having an older sister who is developmentally challenged forced Sarah to become the older sister in many ways. At an early age Sarah became her mother's right hand and could be counted on for assistance in bringing a diaper and picking up toys. Sarah was there to welcome her only brother into the family 2 years later. Then her baby sister Hannah arrived 2 years after her brother, Phillip. Sarah began kindergarten at Milan School District. When her family moved to Ohio she attended her first Christian school at Wesley Christian School. Then attending Malta Christian School when her little brother was old enough to attend school. In 1986 the family moved back to Petersburg, Michigan and she enrolled in Holiness Christian School. With pride Sarah's parents watched her excel in school. Sarah became interested in playing the piano so quickly a piano teacher was found and soon Sarah developed the talent God bestowed upon her. Perhaps because of her sister's handicap Sarah matured quickly and was a very dependable young lady. She was sensitive to the Lord's knock upon her heart and opened the door of her heart to Him early in her teen years. At age 16 she graduated from high school. In the fall she left for college but not before giving her heart away to Tony Watters. She attended Union Bible College for 2 years then on Nov16, 1996 Sarah became Mrs. Tony Watters. January 2, 2000 was a very exciting day for the new family as they stuffed Sarah in the back seat with her mother and grandmother for the whirlwind trip to St. Joesph Hospital as they begged Sarah to please wait to have the baby she just couldn't wait to deliver. Sarah did make it to the hospital but just barely. Abigail Dawn was such a delightful easy going child like her mother. She brought such happiness into Sarah and Tony's life. Perhaps this sweet healthy baby caused her parents to momentarily forget that life also has battles that helps build faith in God. But their faith would soon be tested for two years later on Dec 9, 2002 Zachary David Watters was born with a Cranial syndrome that required 2 serious surgeries. Sarah was a model of Motherhood as she stayed by his side and prayed for him. She has made so many trips to the U of M Hospital that she feels like she could do it blindfolded. And for Zachary this will be an on-going process. Zachary told his grandma when he is scared at the doctor's visits his Mom helps him because she is with him.The stress of her son's syndrome began to sap Sarah's own physical and emotional strength. But her doctors weren't very helpful. Offering cliches instead of relief. Then Sarah's world became darker as she experienced 2 losses within 14 months of each other. God held her up with the loss of each child. Finally Sarah found a doctor who would listen and within minutes diagnosed her with Fibromyalgia. Though this disease may never offer recovery, it was a relief for Sarah to know that the symptoms she suffered from had an origin and she continues to be strong through it all. With God's help her disease may go into remission. She is a beloved daughter, dear sister, dependable Mother and devoted wife. She loves God with a fervent heart. Sarah has been an example of tenacity (refusing to give up) though the trials are severe. Sarah is a hard worker. She has worked as a telemarketer, fast food server, resident aide, and day care provider. She enjoys, reading (especially Karen Kingsbury) and scrapbooking. She collects apple decor in the kitchen, and Thomas Kincaid in the living room. As a sister in Christ Sarah is exemplary. She is caring and always ready with a listening ear. Though she may not have all the answers she is always ready to cry with you in pain or rejoice in your blessings. Zachary says he knows his mom loves him because she let him buy rollerskates and he loves her because she makes the best brownies for his preschool class. And there is never any left to bring home. Abigail says her Mom is the best because she loves her Dad. There is no doubt in Abigail's mind that if God chose a Mother of the Year He would chose HER Mother.