Special Mother's Day: Mom of 5 graduates from Miami U.

Amy Moore, center, jokes around with four of her five children.
Amy Moore, center, jokes around with four of her five children.

It was a special Mother's Day weekend for Hamilton native Amy Moore, who graduated from Miami University on Saturday.

Not a bad feat for a 44-year-old mother of five, who spent years trying to get a degree, and raise a family at the same time

"Tried to go for it 25 years ago. Things didn't work out, and to come back and finish and actually do it, and persevere and do as well as I have...I just love it!" she says.

But that short statement can not possibly describe what Amy went through to get to graduation day.

There comes a point in everyone's journey when one singular event can change the course of your life forever.

On March 26, 1995, Amy's world changed in a heartbeat.

"And he just kept saying I don't feel good. And he thought it was the flu, and we went to a wedding and in typical Larry fashion he was just like, 'you know, I don't feel good but whenever you want to leave, we'll leave. I'll be OK.' And then the next morning is when I found him," explains Amy.

Larry Moore, Amy's husband, died of cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle doesn't work like it should.

It left Amy's heart broken.

"I was literally married with children one day, and the next day a widow, having to raise the kids by myself. We had no idea he was sick," she says.

Four kids age 10 and younger, with a fifth on the way.

"I know there was one point about 3 or 4 years after he died that I thought I was going to reach a breaking point, but you just keep going, or keep plodding along as I like to say, just keep plodding along, and just make it. You have to. You have no choice," Amy says.

Amy Moore could've let tragedy define her, instead, she went to work for Miami University's athletic department.

Then she decided to get a college degree.

Each night, an exhausting combination of homework, housework and motherhood.

"I would wake up and I would have no idea how my day would go," she says.

It took eight years to graduate.

"I wanted to be a good example for the kids, and be able to provide for us, and not have to depend on someone else to do it," she says.

Her kids: Danielle, 23; Sara, 20; Emily, 19; Katie, 13 and Jake, 12, all know what a role model is all about. Some things they say about her:

"The word that I use to describe her is she's just amazing."

"She's taught me that it's never as bad as it seems."

"She spoils me. That's the best thing."

"I think she's...the best mom ever."

Amy Moore: a woman who pressed on despite incredible odds, a woman who hopes her story will inspire others.

And as an interesting side fact, Amy graduated with her oldest daughter, Danielle, and two nieces. Her degree is in sports studies.

If you know someone who has defied incredible odds, e-mail us their story!