A Mother’s Day Tribute to My Sister

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By Lori Leath Smith, Publisher

“All I ever wanted to be was a mom,” she often said, even when we were growing up. That’s my sister, Lisa Leath Turpin. And when her first child, William Wesley Turpin, was born, she was elated—glowing—like the culmination of her life’s purpose was ignited. With her second child, Lauren Elaine, she further fell into her coveted role of being the best mom for her kids.

She then understood why she had always held that desire in her heart. There is no greater love than that of parent for their child. And the bond between a mother and child is a most precious one, truly unbreakable.

As Wes and Lauren (“Bebe”) grew, Lisa lived her life around them and saw to their every need (and many wants), trying her best, later as a single mom, to rearrange her schedule, her events and all so that she could be a hands-on mom—whether it was soccer games, track meets, football games, cheer leading competitions, art shows, musical performances—she did her best to be an involved mom, making the choice every day to put her children in front of herself.…and still does to this day.

Lisa hugs WesI once saw something written: It takes someone brave to be a mother, someone strong to raise a child and someone special to love someone other than herself. How true that is of my sister! I might add, however, it takes a strong mom to be an overcomer, even through the loss of her precious child.

So, when something tragically out of order happened, it made me wonder how Lisa would cope. You see, no one ever considers losing a child or even being able to understand things when it happens—until it does. It’s the loneliest, most desolate journey a person can take, and the only people who can come close to appreciating what the grief is like, are those who share the experience.

Wes was one of the greatest gifts she was ever given. She loved Wes with every fiber in her body and he was all she dreamt her son would be. And then, in an instant, he was no longer here. Things are still fresh for her. Wes was killed only a few months ago. A senseless, out-of-order death such as this one can break a person. But not my Sissy. She is coping with grace, compassion for others who have experienced the same and is doing her best to balance the pain and guilt of outliving Wes with the desire to live in a way that honors him and his time here. There are very challenging days. But, ultimately, she finds hope and security in our creator, and knows she will see her son again one day.

To all the moms who have loved a child unconditionally, but have suffered this loss, we support you, love you and want to honor you and your children while imparting hope.
If you know of a mom this Mother’s Day whose child is no longer on this earth, let them know you care, recognize their ongoing battle and remember their child, even if it might make you feel uncomfortable. It is a precious Mother’s Day gift to remember and acknowledge their son or daughter.

I consider it a sacred opportunity to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my Sissy who has endured one of life’s most frightening events, but lives with it daily. And if you know her, you know how precious she is to her friends, family and this community—she inspires me and is my Mother’s Day gift.

In remembrance of all Moms this Mother’s Day…
Publisher note: Many of you knew Wes. Visit https://www.daviswatkins.com/obituary/WilliamWes-Turpin to read more about his life and legacy.

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