What's her secret?: 'Remember to say, "I love you"'

abredeson@islandpacket.comMay 19, 2013 

Sue Wiener is photographed with Einstein the dog.

JAY KARR — Staff photo Buy Photo

  • Rest assured, the moms featured in this column are not bragging about themselves. They often have no idea they are even being selected for the weekly feature until they get a phone call. Most are recommended by readers. Please send your suggestions of Lowcountry moms to features writer Amy Bredeson at abredeson@islandpacket.com.

Name: Sue Wiener

Husband: Bob

Town: Bluffton

Children: Beth, 45; Debby, 43; David, 41; and four grandchildren

Occupation: Retired teacher; teaches calligraphy one day a week at The Professional Golfers Career College in Bluffton and teaches privately on occasion

Go-to dinner: "I guess we would call it our calendar concoction," Wiener said. "When we're desperate, when it's been a really busy day and I haven't really planned dinner, I just see what little bit is left over from Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We toss it together. ... We add some rice or macaroni or pasta. So it becomes a skillet or an omelet or a stir fry. We give it new life."

Biggest pet peeve: "People who aren't appreciative, people who are complainers," Wiener said. "They complain about the weather. They complain about their parents. They complain about their children, their husbands. That does bother me because there's so much to love and look forward to in this world and ... we're so blessed to live here."

Hobbies: Playing the ukulele is her newest hobby, but she also enjoys doing calligraphy, kayaking, bicycling with The Chain Gang and writing poetry.

Volunteer work: She volunteers her time doing calligraphy for different people. She is involved in the local nonprofit organization Caring Neighbors. She helped her husband, Bob, launch Temple Oseh Shalom in Bluffton. She is on the temple's Ritual Committee, volunteers with Hadassah and is active in the Women's Association of Hilton Head Island.

Favorite mommy moment: "A zillion of them, of course, like any mom," she said. "Probably when I got to see and hold my very first grandchild because that kind of reinforces not just being a mommy, but to have your own first child become a mother is beyond words. It's just a wonderful, wonderful, amazing feeling. ... Just to see that the generations continue, that life is a continuous process. ... Another time, when our own kids were tiny, was probably the day we got to adopt David. ... He was on a list for like three years down the road or something, and we got an OK to get him in early. And we went to the beach, and we flew a kite. It was winter. It was cold. We were just so excited, and that was really a special moment as a family, when we felt, 'Now we're complete. We've got the two little girls. We've got a little brother.' And that was just special, rejoicing, celebrating that he was officially ours."

Most challenging moment: Wiener said all three of their children had serious medical challenges at one point or another. Their oldest daughter had open heart surgery at a young age. Their second daughter had an accident with hot tea, which resulted in third-degree burns, skin grafts and an entire summer in the hospital. And their son had his share of injuries, too. She said he almost died after being hit by a car while riding his bicycle.

Stress reliever: Learning to play the ukulele, working on a Sudoku puzzle or taking Einstein, the Bichon Frisè, for a romp on the beach

Advice for other moms: "Look for the good in your children and in everyone around you," she said. "Remember to say, 'Thank you.' Remember to say, 'I love you.'"

Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.

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