Beautiful Voices is our ongoing blog series that highlights inspiring, empowering women. Our most recent Beautiful Voice is Sarah Dick. See what she says when Annmarie asks her some questions about her own personal beauty.
My name is Sarah. I am a mother, wife and educator. I have worked in education now for 17 years. Currently I am an Instructional Coach which means that I “teach the teachers”. . I enjoy reading, spending time with my family, and cooking. I have two boys age 16 and 14. They keep my husband and I busy as they are in sports and all kinds of other things. Between work and my kids I don’t get much time for myself but I try to take advantage of every minute I do get. But I wouldn’t trade what I have for the world.
What event changed my life?
Five years ago my life was turned upside down. My mom, who I was very close to, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She suffered for 15 months until she finally passed away. My sister, dad and I were there to help her when she got really sick and was in the hospital for 3 weeks. When she was moved to hospice we were there with her every day for 2 weeks. We were there with her when she passed. About 2 months after my mom passed my dad was diagnosed with cancer of the tongue. He knew he had it when my mom was sick but he didn’t tell anyone and wouldn’t leave my mom’s side to get it taken care of. He had two surgeries. The second surgery lasted 14 hours because the cancer had spread and had spread so much. He ended up without a tongue. He had a trach and a feeding tube as he could no longer eat or drink. He went through chemo and radiation. My sister and I took turns taking care of him. He couldn’t not talk so we had to make all of the arrangements he needed for his care. He eventually passed away about a year after my mom. I suddenly became an adult orphan. I mourned not only for my parents but also for my old life where I was naive when it came to cancer and all that went with it. Never did I think I would have to take care of my parents around the clock at 35. I had been taking care of them in one way or another for over a year. I didn’t know what to do when I had no one to take care of in that way. My husband and kids were very understanding and very supportive.
I spent a long time in a daze trying to figure out what happened and how I was going to deal with my “new” life. At one point I came to realize something. My mom was an identical twin. My mom was overweight, drank a lot of diet Pepsi, ate a lot of food cooked in plastic heated in the microwave. Her twin was not overweight, didn’t drink nearly as much pop as my mom, and cooked a bit healthier. After thinking of all this I realized that my mom’s cancer couldn’t have been genetic. It had to be environmental. Otherwise why wasn’t her identical twin sick also? I decided then that I needed to change my life to try and prevent the same thing from happening to myself or my family. I am trying to eat more organic and watch what kind of products I put in or on my body that may contain chemicals that can be harmful. When I came across Annmarie’s skin care line I was ecstatic. Not only has it worked for me it is better for my health. I have only started my journey with trying to make my body healthier and have a long way to go. But I feel even one change is for the better.
Who am I today?
Today I am a woman who has gone through some very tough times. My life has forever been changed. But I feel I am a much more compassionate and understanding person. I try to enjoy the small things in life because you never know when and how life might change. I look at life as a gift that should never be taken for granted. I love my family. I love myself. I know I need to continue to make changes for the better but I am working on them one day at a time. Change can be difficult but true change takes time, it is a marathon and not a sprint.
What does beauty mean to me?
Beauty does not always have to be on the outside, in fact some people may look beautiful on the outside but as you get to know them they become ugly. I know it is cliché to say it but beauty really is on the inside.
Beauty can also be out in the world. With so many horrible things going on in the world we need a little more beauty. I try to do what I can to show beauty. It might be something as simple as a smile to a stranger. I try and remember that you never know what is going on with someone, something they are struggling with and won’t show it. So something as simple as a smile or a, “Have a nice day.” may make the difference in someone’s life. People need to know that there is still beauty out there. I try to stop and enjoy the beautiful things I see. Whether it is a sunset or one person helping another.
How do I pamper myself?
In the warmer months, I love to float around in the pool and read a book. There is nothing better than feeling that warm sun (using sunscreen of course) and reading a good book. I enjoy watching a good movie with my husband and family. Taking a nice warm bubble bath. A good massage works for me too!
What are my words of wisdom for other beauties out there?
Make sure you take time for yourself. So many of us have such busy lives. We do for others and put ourselves on the back burner. Try not to feel guilty about it when you do make time for yourself. Too much stress and worry can have long term effects on your body. It is better for you in the long run to make sure you take care of yourself along the way. Easier said than done right? But try to make a point to do something for yourself as often as you can.