This week's #womenwinningwednesday is Miranda Smith. She's not famous, she's not a household name, and she doesn't need to be. She is my sister, and she is my saving grace.
When I'm at my lowest, I call her and she plays with my children, goes to lunch with me, joins me at a workout or run, or just lets me vent. But let me back up, give a little history.
I started dating my now husband many years ago. One day he decided to introduce me to his family, a big step in a new but strong relationship.
When he first opened the doors to his parent's house, I noticed a quiet, smiling, Native beauty of seven years sitting on his family's couch. Not fifteen minutes into my visit, I was playing a board game with this sweet girl, who quietly asked me, every visit after that one, "Hannah, do you want to play a game with me?" I was her first shot at a sister, and she was not letting me off the hook. Since then, we've done many sisterly things together, and it's been awesome.
I actually think I might have married my husband so that that little girl would be my sister. Just kidding. Sort of. Eleven years later, I have hundreds of little memories, moments, and bonds that I could share with you, but none of them would really encompass the love and bond I have with Miranda Lee Smith.
But, just to give a it a try, let me list the reasons why she is winning, regardless of whether she ever makes a fame and fortune list (though I wouldn't be surprised if she did):
1. She is super creative with baking. When I want to make a weird zombie cake or princess cupcakes or a bug birthday party cake, she is there. No questions asked.
2. She loves my kids with patience, kindness and tolerance, even when they are acting their grumpiest. I'm not sure there is a more patient person in the world, to be honest. She holds the key to my kid's hearts, and so she hold the key to mine.
3. No matter how depressed, crazy or messed up I am, she will always offer a listening ear and stands by my side. I'm not perfect, but she doesn't expect me to be, nor does she exclude me when I'm not. She goes on a run with me, has lunch with me, laughs with me and allows me to be what and who I am.
4. She has always been my helper. Ever since I can remember, Miranda has been the quiet, stable helper in everything I've done. When I was a summer school teacher, she was my teacher's aide. As a college instructor, she takes my classes and puts her full effort into them, setting an example for anyone who comes through my NWIC courses. When I feel like being a mom is too much, she is there playing with my kids, showing me what it's like to be effortlessly kind and selfless. When I need a workout, she puts on her rayon pants and looks to me, expectant and supportive.
5. Miranda is a better person than I'll ever be. She is a loyal friend, a role model for our community, a cultural leader and she NEVER asks for recognition. Her quiet presence is a constant, so much so that she goes under appreciated in most of the things she does.
There are many other reasons that my little sister is my feature for #womenwinningwednesday, but I'll end with the fact that she is graduating from High School this year, and that I'm very proud of how well she's done inside and outside of our little community. I truly believe she could do so much, but no matter what she chooses, she will be happy because she is full of life, joy and love. I cannot wait to see her grow, and to grow old alongside a person who makes me want to be better everyday. I love you, Miranda Lee Smith, and I'm very proud of you.
H.M Jones is the author of B.R.A.G Medallion Honor and NIEA finalist book Monochrome, its prequel Fade to Blue, the Adela Darken Graphic Novellas, Al Ravien's Night, The Immortals series, and several short stories.