Inspired by Mom

Door County residents have been submitting stories about their mothers and other important women in their lives to the Women’s Fund of Door County, which is collecting quotes and photos to post on Facebook in honor of Mother’s Day. 

The campaign, which accepted submissions through May 10, supports the organization’s mission to “build, enrich and nurture” the lives of women in Door County.

Here’s a taste of what community members have submitted. Visit the organization’s Facebook page,, for further stories.

Happy Rocks, submitted by Justin Kirwen 

My amazing mother Bethany Kirwen shares love and encouragement with the world through her artwork. The world is a big place, but we don’t need to be loud and bold to stand out and make a difference.

For as long as I can remember, my mother has carried “happy rocks,” smooth black stones with smiley faces painted on them. She gives them to unsuspecting people who need the encouragement or who made her day with their positive outlook. The rocks are tokens of appreciation, little signs that say “You are noticed in this big world” and “Thank you for being you.”

My mom always inspires me to be better and make a difference. She teaches me that small acts of kindness are important and that there shouldn’t always be a reward for our actions. I am grateful to have her as my mother and always look forward to seeing what she does next.

Shared Joys, submitted by Kacie Mueller 

As I navigate the incredible journey of motherhood, I find myself reflecting on the remarkable woman who shaped me – my mother, Jolene Wilson. With unwavering patience and boundless kindness, she nurtured me, imparting invaluable life lessons through her thoughtful teachings. Our bond was made even more special by the fact that I was born on her birthday, making it a truly shared celebration of life.

Jolene Wilson and Kacie Mueller. Photo courtesy of Kacie Mueller.

Understanding the profound impact reading can have on a young mind, my mother dedicated her career to the school district, surrounding not just herself but countless young minds with the very books that ignited her passion for reading. She effortlessly passed this love down to me, ensuring that from an early age, I was immersed in the magical worlds of countless stories.

One of the greatest gifts she gave me was a love for nature’s wonders. Her green thumb, inherited from her own mother, blossomed into a passion that she eagerly shared with me. From tending to vibrant gardens to exploring the great outdoors, she instilled in me a deep appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us. 

Now, as I watch my own children and niece and nephew delight in the simple pleasures of reading and discovering new stories, of digging in the soil and marveling at the first blooms of spring, I am filled with gratitude for the legacy my mother has passed down. Her joy, her wisdom and her nurturing spirit continue to guide me, shaping the way I parent and cherish every moment with my loved ones.

On this Mother’s Day, I celebrate the extraordinary woman who not only gave me life but also taught me how to truly live it – my mom, my mentor, my forever inspiration.

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