There was the trip out west.
There were endless occasions and moments recorded on the video camera.
There was the sledding adventure at Forest Hill Park.
There was the first sip of beer at a Spiders game.
There was the surprise birthday party at the beach.
There are so many more special moments and memories that could be named by Sheila Shepard’s children, and that is because every moment spent with her is just as meaningful as the last. And as Sheila celebrates her 75th birthday in style, her children spent some time reflecting on who she is and what makes her so special.
One of the first things that comes to mind when her kids talk about her is Sheila’s faith in God. She put an extra emphasis on the importance of church as her kids were growing up, and she remained steadfast herself in her faith in God.
“Her faith is the most important thing to her, I believe,” Sheila’s daughter Joy said. “She is so strong in her faith, and it shows in her every day, from her loving and caring personality to her selfless giving.”
Sheila allows her faith to be her guiding light in her life, and it shines through her caring attitude and her overall joy of life.
Speaking of caring, Sheila is as kindhearted an individual that you will ever meet. She makes the lives of everyone around her so much better just by being there for them. If you need her in your corner in life, she is there without hesitation.
“I admire how she takes time and effort to show that she cares,” Sheila’s son Ryan said. “She is fond of writing cards… it could be just to check in and see how you’re doing, or it could be a thank you note for something you got for her or did for her. Her and my daughter Leah have been penpals for years, writing and mailing physical letters back and forth.”
Sheila is passing on the importance of communication down multiple generations, and that is something that, while it might not seem like much to some, is super important to her.
That is not all Sheila does for her grandchildren, as she is a very present grandmother. She does not allow any amount of distance to keep her from her three grandchildren (Leah, Micah and Jaxon), and all three of them love spending time with their grandma.
“She’s the best grandmother,” Sheila’s son Sean exclaimed. “We don’t have kids, but how many grandparents would take a trip to Ohio from Virginia every six weeks or so just to see her grandkids? My mom did! How many grandparents would move away from the home they have known for 50-plus years just so they could be in the life of the new grandson? My mom; that’s who!”
Talk about an altruistic soul. Sheila takes care of her own in any way possible, and she never thinks of herself first.
She has been doing this for a long time too. Sheila has always been present in her children’s lives, and she put them first each and every day when she was raising them.
“My mom is my biggest supporter and one of my best friends,” Joy said. “She has a heart of gold. She means everything to me. I don’t know how I could live without her.”
It is clear Sheila has been making an impact on her three kids’ lives since day one. She is the one person they know they could not live without, and they are super grateful to call her their mom.
In fact, Sheila’s kids see their mother as the best mom in the world, and that’s the type of impact you should be making on your kids.
“She means the world to me,” Ryan said. “She’s been the best mom a son could ask for. As Joy said, Mom is always so supportive and encouraging through everything, even the bad times. She’s always willing to lend a listening ear. She’s always willing to pray for you or share a word of encouragement from the Bible.”
Sheila’s always instilling her beliefs and values into others as well, and that is something that is very much appreciated.
What is also appreciated is Sheila’s newfound willingness to try new things. She had not always been the most open to adventure, but she would do anything to see her kids and grandkids put a smile on their faces.
“Taking my mom out of her comfort zone was amazing,” Sean said. “She went from the lady who said, ‘I will NEVER get in an airplane’ to the lady who has now traveled around the world with me and to visit me! She’s been to places as ‘normal’ as The Netherlands, Germany, France and Denmark, to places as exotic as Lithuania and even had to catch a connecting flight in Iceland!”
To her, it was a big steppingstone in life, and Sheila’s children are all appreciative of this fact. They are grateful that she is going to always be there for them, and they are grateful that they can call her up in times of need.
Sheila is a special person with a great big heart for Jesus, and her children love her for all that she is.
“We love you, Mom. Thank you for being you, for giving so much of yourself to everyone around you, and for loving us and raising us so well.” – Ryan