Photography by Brandi Corriveau Photography
Meet Debbie. She is Beauty Revived.
“I don’t feel I’ve done anything that any other mom who loves her kids wouldn’t do. My true reward is seeing what wonderful women and moms that both of my daughters have become…” This was my humble introduction Debbie Bernard.
As a young girl, all Debbie ever wanted to be was a mom. She married her sweetheart at the young age of 17 (with her mom’s permission, of course). Two years later that dream of motherhood came true when she gave birth to her first daughter, Kelli.
“Neither of my parents went to college and had to be incredibly resourceful and self-sufficient to raise a family at such a young age.” Kelli shared. “My dad went into sales and my mom started with office administrative work. I never remember my mom taking a sick day, and she would always be sliding into day care to pick us up just before it closed, but she somehow made it all work. When I was 15 years old my mom got me my first summer job as a receptionist at her office. We would commute together, leaving the house around 6am, back home by 6pm. We weren’t rich, but always had enough, and it taught my sister and I to have a strong work ethic and value the opportunities my parents were giving us to go beyond what they had. My parents pushed both my sister and I to get college degrees, the first in our family. Now we both have good jobs, homes, and traveled the world, and feel very grateful for so much support along the way.”
There’s no shortage of love and admiration for Debbie in the Bernard family. It was Kristin, Debbie’s youngest daughter, who nominated her. “From the day I was born my Mom has always showed me what true love can be. She is the most caring soul and always wants what is best for her family. My Mom has always worked and still managed to put her family before her career. When I became a Mom myself for the first time, she showed me what it was to sacrifice but still have endless love and devotion for my children.
When our second child Emily came into the world, my Mom became a Grandma for the third time and was overjoyed! Little did we know the road ahead; Emily was diagnosed with a serious liver condition and spent many nights in the hospital.”
It was Debbie’s insistence that made Kristin press doctors about her daughter’s condition. At 7 weeks old Emily was finally diagnosed. Debbie and Kristin are passionate about educating the public about Emily’s disease. Biliary atresia is a rare, life-threatening condition in infants in which the bile ducts inside or outside the liver lack normal openings. It affects about one out of every 18,000 infants. Symptoms include yellowing of the skin, pale stools, a swollen abdomen, and skinny arms. Babies with these symptoms should get checked immediately. If not treated in time this condition may lead to liver failure. To learn more about biliary atresia you can follow this link https://www.niddk.nih.gov/
“My Mom never skipped a beat to help. She helped by taking my son to school, she spent nights in the hospital, and kept me, her own child, sane throughout it all. I can write a novel on how special my Mom is to not only me, but to many other people.”
I asked Debbie if she had any words of advice for the Mother’s out there she said, “Life goes by fast, too fast, so enjoy each and every day. Be kind to each other – one never knows what another is going through and most of all . . . be a good human.”
About the Photographer
Brandi Corriveau wants to live in a world where life has a pause button, dishes and laundry clean themselves, and teleportation devices really do exist. As a Southern California family photographer, she strives to capture the beauty in everyday moments. When she’s not having the best-time-ever creating family heirlooms for her clients, you can find her at home dancing around in the living room with her favorite five-year-old.