The Port Arthur News
PORT NECHES —
Lisa Fiorenza, the newly crowned Port Neches Mother of the Year, may not be a cape wearing super-heroine but she’s Wonder Woman to her children.
Fiorenza was nominated for the honor by Grace Fiorenza, one of her four daughters. She was crowned on Sunday during the Port Neches RiverFest.
“I was surprised. We always go and participate in RiverFest and that day they were having the dog show and we took two of our dogs,” Lisa Fiorenza said.
Fiorenza said she thought they were just going to the park for the dog show and to grab a bite to eat. Soon she and her family were at the pavilion watching the Mexican Folkloric dancers — something she and her sisters participated in while growing up. Then came the surprise.
In the nomination letter, Grace Fiorenza says it is difficult to describe “this Wonder Woman who I have the honor to call my mom.”
The daughter goes on to talk about a loving mother who instilled in her and her three sisters the most valuable of life’s lessons.
“Love God above all things, work hard for what you want, forgive those who have hurt you, take responsibility for your wrong-doings, be considerate of others, give to those in need, don’t speak about others,...” Grace Fiorenza said in the letter.
Grace Fiorenza admitted she’s a bit embarrassed, at age 23, to occasionally ask her mother to help her with bills and cannot remember a single time she was turned down. Her mother, she said, has put every dollar into ensuring the happiness and well-being of the family and does it with a smile.
“In addition to me and my three sisters, she has been a motherly figure to al of our friends, our four dogs, our two exchange students we’re hosted at our home, al her pre-kindergarten Sunday school students she has taught over 18 years, her seven siblings, her three Godchildren, her 30-plus nieces and nephews and many more,” the daughter said. “People that know her call her a living saint.”
The family has had a difficult year — from patriarch Mark Fiorenza’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent battle to the death of a close family friend in January and the deaths of close family members.
“Grace talked about things we have gone through this past year, we lost some family members. We just keep on having faith in God and a strong belief in family,” Lisa Fiorenza said. “Faith is what makes us strong.”