What woman doesn’t love a little pampering? And who deserves it more than a mother? This is our first year giving a head-to-toe makeover and Marianne Kulzer of Troy is the recipient. Her husband Mark wrote a touching letter explaining the reasons why his wife should be chosen, though he didn’t think she needed to be “made over”; just a little pampering. Read on to see what he had to say.
Dear Mary Beth,
I would like to nominate my wife Marianne for a Mother’s Day makeover. She does so much for all the people around her and I am lucky to have her in my life.
We have two beautiful daughters and Marianne dedicates her days to keeping them healthy, active and intellectually engaged. Both Amelia and Anya were preemies, born at 28 weeks and 30 weeks respectively. They weighed 2 lb. 12 oz. and 3 lb. 11 oz. Looking at them now, at the ages of 2 and 4, you would never know the obstacles they have overcome and the battles they have won.
They have emerged victorious because they have had Marianne in their corner, fighting for them every step of the way.
Time always seems to be in short supply, but Marianne still volunteers weekly at the Albany Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to help parents who now have premature babies with uncertain futures. It is a way for her to give back to a place that has done so much for us. She does scrapbooking with the parents and shares stories of our family’s success; she comforts them and gives them hope at a time when they need it most. Sometimes this can be heart–wrenching because not all cases have happy endings—some babies do not make it. Marianne suffers and grieves along with the parents and it can take an emotional toll.
Marianne has a big heart and often puts the needs of others ahead of her own. That is why I think that my beautiful wife is deserving of a makeover.
Mark A. Kulzer
PS: Perhaps “makeover” is not the correct term for what I would like for Marianne. I would certainly like her to be pampered, but I do not want to change anything about her. I love her just the way she is!
Marianne Kulzer of Troy is a busy mother and wife.
Married for seven years to Mark, this former first-grade teacher put her career on hold after having her daughters, now two and four years-old. She runs around each day shuffling them to the park, playgroups, the library, arts & crafts classes, the MOMS Club of Troy (she is due to take over as president of this chapter in July) and rarely spends any time on herself.
When she’s not with her kids, she volunteers every Monday evening at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Albany Medical Center. Working with the premature babies and their parents is something she knows all too well. Both of her daughters were preemies.
“It was a very stressful, scary and sad time,” said Kulzer, 38, who had to leave her older daughter at the hospital for seven weeks after giving birth. Not knowing much about premature babies, they weren’t sure what they would be up against.
Feeling as if she owed a huge debt to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Albany Medical Center, Kulzer jumped at the chance to volunteer at a program they started a few short months after her own experience. She began teaching scrapbooking to parents who had preemies to help them chronicle the lives of their babies.
“I really wanted to work with the parents,” she said. “You really can’t understand what someone is going through unless you’ve experienced it yourself. It’s nice for parents to talk to someone who has been through the same thing.”
Kulzer is able to lend support and share advice on how to deal with such a life-changing obstacle as having a preemie.
“You just have to take it one day at a time, sometimes even a minute at a time. As hard as it is to be patient, oftentimes that is the only thing you can do.” She also suggests having a solid support system, connecting with other preemie parents and not being afraid to ask questions.
Working with the program at NICU has allowed Kulzer to give back in a meaningful way and has also put her own situation into perspective.
“It’s nice when you can tell you are making a difference,” she said. “It makes me feel good about what I am doing and I also leave every week with such gratitude that my kids are now healthy.”
Thanks to her husband’s nomination, this Mother’s Day Kulzer will receive some much deserved pampering for all she does; not only for her own family, but for the many families she helps.
“I cried when I read his nomination letter. I was so surprised and excited,” she said. “I love Mark very much and I’m so lucky to have him. It’s so nice to know he appreciates me.”