Carol Kurpiel, 71, of Peachtree City, was nominated for the 2017 Mother of the Year Award by her daughter, Ashley Keeney. Ashley writes:
Although I might never be a mom, I will always do my absolute best to follow the example mine has set before me. She touches my life, my siblings lives, and the lives of complete strangers without hesitation.
My siblings and I were adopted at birth, but from the start my mother was on our team. She never missed a game, band concert, and even convinced me to have the confidence to go to the middle school dance alone, assuring me she’d be in the parking lot waiting to bail me out in case I changed my mind.
She suffered through the headaches of my News Kids and Michael Jackson phase and was the first to cheer us on, even if that meant helping me attempt seemingly normal tasks that I couldn’t do alone because of my handicap.
My mother has taught me the meaning of charity in so many ways whether it is bringing a construction worker an ice cold water bottle on a hot day or allowing eight strangers to sleep at our home for a couple nights after the tragedy of 9/11 took it’s toll, leaving people stranded at the airport.
Although she isn’t the president of any known community group or rounding up ladies to see who can meet par at the golf course, my mother is a compassionate citizen in the unnoticed, but most touching ways. One Christmas after complimenting a Salvation Army representative on his musical abilities with words of affirmation and dollar bills she noticed he had a cold. She exited the store with tissues, juice, and medication in hand for a sick stranger.
At age 94 and 92, my grandparents came to live with us and not only did she give up her master bedroom, but she planted herself in a tiny room around the corner just to make sure she could meet their needs in the middle of the night. Being a 35-year-old severely physically disabled adult means my mother did and still does give up her life to take care of my needs on a daily basis. Who other than my mother could’ve convinced me that it was okay to be different and to accept my rare disease because she was grateful to be chosen to raise me? There are only 800 people in the world that share my burden and not only does my mother share it with me, she has always pushed me through it comparing her life with me to caring for a Hope Diamond. My mother is the best example of a charitable mother. She is my hero.