The Wendy Benton Knaupp May Day Award

for Forgotten Kindness


Mary Silbrnagel

Dear Mary

You are one of the kindest people I know!

Our friendship has a long history. It goes back to even before I met you and my mother-in-law washed your future husband's windows by mistake. I was so happy for Mike when he told me he had met this nice young schoolteacher. And then he disappeared. His roommates told me he had married the nice young schoolteacher. How surprised and delighted I was several years later when I picked her up for a La Leche meeting, and it was YOU!

And then there were the wonderful La Leche years. The meetings, the picnics, the lunches at LaVay's house. We had such a wonderful camaraderie. I always admired you. You were quiet and shy, but always shared such tender sentiments. And I was very proud of you when you decided to become a leader. I know you helped many women to grow into their motherhood by your example as well as your teaching, including me. I came to comfort you when baby John died and I didn't know what to say. Again you had to teach me. We had two babies together; my Heather and your Dave, and your Andrew and my Daniel. That will always be a special bond for us. That and all the life experiences we've shared – births, deaths, marriages, and New Years. Never forget all the wonderful New Years parties – all the food and kids and picture puzzles. You always brought the best pies! It's a very precious gift to have friends to share your whole life's journey with.

But the reason you are getting this award goes far beyond normal kindness and frienship. My friend Wendy made a great difference in my life by giving me friendship at an extremely vulnerable time. And like Wendy, you saved me when I was drowning. When Heather was in the TLC and the hospital for weeks and months on end, what would I have done with my beautiful precious nursing baby if it hadn't been for you. Because of this bond we have shared our whole adult lives you knew without a word the dilemma I faced and the anguish on both fronts, of course over Heather, but also what to do with Daniel, who had never had a babysitter or a bottle, and barely ate solid food. You came forward and took Dan day after painful day so I could be with Heather. I knew he was in good hands. I never worried. I was free during those hours every day to devote myself totally to Heather. No words or no award nor any gift can adequately express my admiration and gratitude for what you did for me and my family at that time.

And then there's LaVay! Your kindness and caring for her were so important in easing her transition to the next life. If she were here she'd be giving you an award too.

So this is from BOTH of us.

Love Always,

Your Friend Forever,