The Heroines

Suzy Miller

is honored with a Large Paver from Dr. Glendon Miller.

Suzy Miller, Founder - Common Sense Parenting, Inc. - "Mom," "Little Mother," "Trouble!" You have always been there for us. We love you, Glen, Erica and Glendon.

That sounds so typical, so taken-for-granted, so expected for one who is a woman, wife, and mother. As a wife she has been a sweetheart, lover, companion, confidant, advisor, friend, and the mother of our children. As a mother she has exhibited strength beyond imagination, patience that would be the envy of the Pope, and perseverance that set a standard for the most determined persons. But, she is so much more . . .

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 40, she took no time to pity herself but instead worked at being an even better wife and mother, and in doing so founded Common Sense Parenting. Throughout the 1980's and 1990's she worked tirelessly, as much as her progressive disease permitted, to help others who experienced a behavioral problem with their children. She has helped countless families in our community and the surrounding area. The impoverished and wealthy alike have received help and were treated equally, always for the same price - free! Juvenile Court judges ordered couples to attend Suzy's meetings. She was that effective.

Typically, first contact was by phone. Frequently, all her counseling was done by phone because couples were too embarrassed to appear in person. More than 600 families did come to meetings, typically saying "Where's Suzy?" "I want to talk to Suzy because I know she can help us." And she did help. Without benefit of a college degree and with no formal training in counseling, she used her common sense, life experience, and lots of self-study to help solve family problems that "would cross a rabbi's eyes." She has a natural talent for understanding coupled with a confrontational posture. Emotion ran high and tears flowed freely as people described their troubles. But Suzy was not running a sympathy service. After the first few meetings, if they failed to begin to take charge of their situation and make positive changes, Suzy would confront them and challenge them to move toward resolution of their problem. "That won't work" and "I can't do that" were unacceptable responses.

Women were given the support to become assertive. Counsel to strengthen their marriage was frequently required. Phone calls seeking support early Sunday mornings, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, at 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. in the morning, even on her birthday, were common. The callers always received help.

All her efforts to help others were given freely with no thought of compensation or recognition of any kind. She used her own financial, intellectual, and emotional resources to help others. That drew on her most precious resource - energy. Throughout all that time she consistently found the energy to be effective for us, too.

"Mom," "Little Mother," "Trouble!" Suzy is all that and so much more.

September 5, 1998