Most Influential Woman by Chauntia Robinson

I think it would be safe to assume that everyone would agree that raising five children alone is a difficult, next to impossible task for anyone to take on. Although my mother has always done her best and never given me a cause to complain, there have been countless times when she needed someone to lean on, someone to lend her a helping hand.

The most influential woman in my life is the woman who was always there to be that someone to lean on. The woman who has always lent the helping hand. For as long as I can remember, my sister, Marie has always been the strongest person I know. There has not been a time in my life when she was not there to help my mother fight life's battles.

When I was eight years old, my brother Adam was born. Due to a number of complications that my mother had during his delivery, she was bedridden and unable to do anything. My father was not at home most of the time and with my mother being sick she needed help. At fifteen years old, my sister stepped up and did most of the things that my mother was unable to do at the time. She took care of my three brothers and I, as well as my mother and herself until my mother was back to health.

1994 marked the beginning of a five-year long, messy divorce between my parents. My father, who had been the provider for our family for 14 years, was gone and my mother was forced to go back to work. The amount of time that my mother did not spend working was consumed by the divorce. Once again, my sister stepped up and helped out where my mother could not. She has always taken time out of her own life to make sure that our family stayed together and that we didn't have to rely on anyone except for each other. After my father left, my sister stepped away from the life of a normal teenager and took a hand in raising my three brothers and I. For years she was more like the second parent in our house than a sister.

Up until 2001, my mother was the sole provider in our family and my sister was right behind her, helping my mother whenever she needed it. But in November of that year my mother started getting sick. She was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and shortly after she became too sick to go to work. This was a very devastating blow to our family because nobody knew what to expect next. My sister, who had graduated high school and was in college at the time, came to the rescue once again. She left school and moved back home to help my mother. But help is an understatement compared to what she did next. She found a steady paying job and took over all of our household expenses. She paid all the bills, kept my brothers and I in school and took care of us. She also took care of my mother in her time of failing health. My mother was never able to return to work. Ever since, my sister has been there for my brothers and I, as well as my mother. She is always there when I need her. She is the reason that I am here at Ferris in the first place. Without her, I don't know where I would be.

As far back as I can recall, I can not think of a time when my sister was not there for me and my family. I can not think of a time when she did something for herself. Everything she does is for one of us. It sometimes makes me sad because I know there are things she had in mind for herself that had to be put on hold. But at the same time it gives me a great sense of pride when I think of all the things she has done for me because I can honestly say that there is not a sister in the world like mine. Marie Robinson is the strongest person I know. She is the most influential woman in my life. I have always said that I wanted to be just like her when I grow up, but now that I am older, I realize that there is only one of her for a reason. I don't think that God intended for anyone to be as phenomenal as my sister. I can only continue to feed on the influence that she has had in my life over the years and hope that one day I can be half as courageous as she is.