The moment that Margo Mirskova first met our children, Natalie and Michelle, her eyes sparkled with joy as she burst into a smile and exclaimed "Hello, you are so cute!" Our fears and anxieties melted away, as we realized that Margo's warm greeting foreshadowed her open and caring nature.
Being so young and in a foreign country, she showed surprising assurance and joie de vie. During the short period that Margo has been part of our family, she has been an immense help caring, playing, reading, and driving, our precious children. More importantly, she has shown us that caring for others, loving others, and cherishing the moments you spend with them, enriches your life, and always, always makes you a better person. To recount the myriad of household tasks that Margo performs to ease the stress of raising two children would minimize her skills. Nonetheless, let me provide you with a sampling of Margo's tool-set. Somehow, she can coax unruly girls to brush their teeth, dress, and eat breakfast while she braids their hair. Without a sound, and before the kids even know it, she is putting one of them on the school bus and driving the other to daycare.
As the kids arrive from daycare, she offers to the children their favorite foods in a home that is tidy and filled with delicious aromas. Sometimes, I forget that this is my home and must rub my eyes in wonder when I see my smiling children doing homework and learning Russian letters. I am always met with a smile from Margo and my children running to greet me. They are holding their latest projects eagerly telling me about the fun they had with Margo. All this happens as Margo purchases groceries, takes the kids to swimming and gymnastics lessons, and finds time to have a social life. I am pretty sure she has four hands and a time machine.
This story would be incomplete if I left out Margo's largest accomplishment. In early November, Margo underwent life-saving brain surgery. We were stunned that such an energetic and healthy individual would have such a health scare. The tables were turned, and we poured all the love that Margo lavished on us, into making her healthy again. As we remained by her side 24-hours a day, we witnessed Margo's spirit and tenacity. In a very short time, we saw her start to move, then came a smile, and finally, a squeeze of the hand. Amazingly, a few nights after the surgery, while still sedated, she ripped out her breathing tube and yelled, "Go home, you are snoring loudly!". Wow, that's a fighter! Margo's mother, Iryna, also visited. The hugs and kisses from Margo's mother broke our hearts, but healed Margo's soul. We understood that Margo was not simply a caregiver, but someone who has brought out the best in ourselves, someone who taught us to never give up, and to love life.
The Shnitser Family