I’m so proud I feel like I won the award myself. And I’m not surprised the teeniest bit that my cousin, Debbie Fowler, was the winner out of 100 nominations for the Fargo Forum’s Most Beautiful Women Project. She is everything and more that publisher, Bill Marcil and his wife, Chris, had in mind when they dreamed up the idea of expanding the definition of beauty as an inner quality which would inspire women in society and create a positive influence for the community, and the world for that matter. Debbie is their first recipient and her picture and story takes up two pages of Monday’s paper.
Her story would inspire anyone. The Forum starts the piece – “Through tragedy and triumph, Debbie Fowler knows laughter is the best medicine!” And goes on to tell the tale of how her third son was diagnosed at 18 months with brain cancer, written off at first by the doctors, but Debbie and her husband, Rick, decided to go through with the aggressive procedures and Kenny defied the odds and at 28 now, has won multiple awards at the Special Olympics each year. Just ask him – he’ll show you!
Last year her second son’s wife died suddenly, leaving a four year old and three year old twins and guess who has stepped up to help raise Joey’s children?
Less than a year before that sad event, Debbie shocked us all by being diagnosed with an aneurysm in the brain, which was actually a good thing because brain surgery would fix it before it was too late. And she saw all that as “divine intervention” because she said “God needed me to be here to take care of these grandkids.”
She’s the kind of person who doesn’t think twice about driving for two hours in the middle of the night to pick you up at the train station and then be up at dawn making biscuits for dozens of relatives camped out at her farm for a family reunion. And she’s the sort you’d most like to be with on a hay ride turned into a blustery drenching you’ll never forget.
At our Aunt Effie’s 90th birthday some years ago, she decided to put some fun into the celebration and come as a clown. And that’s how La Ditzy was born. The whole experience resonated to the extent that she was soon off to Clown School in Branson Mo. and since then has been one of the founders of Clown Camp in San Bernardino Ca. and is on the board of the World Clown Association and even went to India last year for the International Clown Festival. And Kenny has a new calling too, as a result – Kidder now clowns with La Ditzy.
Yesterday I sat out in the freezing garage in the car, in order to listen to her radio interview (Christopher Gabriel, on WDAY-AM named her one of “Gabriel’s Angels” on his program) and blubbered as I heard her dubbed “THE EPITOME OF POSITIVITY”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
I’m so glad to be part of her gene pool.