National Mentoring Month Special Feature: The Most Admirable Woman

By Bernard Ball

Admiration is a strong word to use for someone. It must be earned, not given. When thinking of the most admirable person in my life, I focused on one person, Mrs. Margaret Murphy. Mrs. Margaret became someone very special to me. She was a constant in my life when I was going through foster care and in and out of temporary homes. Mrs. Margaret was caring, dependable, reliable, trustworthy, courageous, and strong-willed. Throughout this essay, I will share what makes Mrs. Margaret so worthy of being called admirable, and then you can decide for yourself if you agree that Mrs. Margaret was an admirable woman.

It all started back when I was a young kid around 9-years-old when I was playing in the yard one day. Mrs. Margaret stopped in front of my yard, and started talking to me.She wanted to know if I wanted to come to church with her. She told me she would provide transportation to and from church if I wanted to go. I said sure but did not realize the impact and importance of this decision at that age. She became my spiritual leader and mentor and was able to use God’s word to provide guidance and direction in my life that was much needed at the time. She was able to provide me a steadiness in church that would not have happened otherwise.

Mrs. Margaret was able to coach me and teach me many life lessons without me even really knowing that she was doing just that. She was able to coach my ability to think and respond properly, to advocate for myself throughout my childhood and adolescence especially during my time in foster care. The life lessons that she taught me stuck with me from adolescence to now, in adulthood. I find myself remembering lessons that she taught me more and more each day. The art of asking questions was one thing she coached me in and she taught me how to do so that I could get answers that I was looking for instead of just being asked questions myself. I find myself still asking questions when in situations, which is something that she taught me.

Some people may know or at least hear that being in foster care is a challenging experience for most people who go through it. I can testify that it was definitely an experience that was challenging and difficult, but Mrs. Margaret was there to be a dependable connection in my life when stability was needed the most. She was there every Sunday to take me to and from church, which was when we were able to talk and form a positive relationship with each other. She was trustworthy in the sense that there was a lot of tension and stressors in my life throughout my childhood that I needed to be able to talk and vent about with someone who cared but would not share these thoughts to others. Mrs. Margaret did just that. She would listen and give input when it was most needed. She showed me how to have courage and not be afraid when advocating for myself.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Margaret passed away last year from sickness. However, Mrs. Margaret’s testimony and admirable traits live on through me as well as the many others she impacted throughout her lifetime. She had a way with people and showed them love that was desperately needed. Admiration was something that she earned by having the qualities of trustworthiness, courage, dependability, caring, and acting as a life mentor/coach. Do you agree with me that Mrs. Margaret was an admirable woman?