Like so many other moms, Sheila Bird doesn't think what she does is unusual or extraordinary. But she reminds us why we celebrate moms every year on the second Sunday of May.
As a nurse, this mother of five is fulfilling a lifelong dream that was discouraged in the mid 1980s.
“I was told that I couldn't do it, that it was ‘Who you know, not what you know,’ and it's too hard of a field to get into," she says.
So she became a medical assistant, married and started a family, but never forgot her goal.
“And I'd try going back to school, and I'd get pregnant,” she says, “and finally I said, ‘I'm gonna do it.’"
When her youngest child was seven, Bird started attending school five days a week. Then she worked 12-hour shifts as a surgical tech on Saturdays and Sundays. She kept that schedule for three years.
“Oh, I missed out on everything," she told KGW. “My daughter had gymnastics meets and I would do what I could to get out of here and drive as fast as I could to catch whatever part I could catch"
“She did miss some things, but she was there a lot and it helped in the long run," says her daughter,” Gabrielle Bird.
Now she’s a registered nurse in the operating room at Legacy Emanuel Hospital. Her weekly schedule is down to three 12-hour shifts.
“I thinking going back at an older age made me a better nurse," she says.
Her son Nick says it also made her a better mom.
"He had to write a paper on who his hero was and he said his mother is,” his sister remembers. "She's always there, she's always trying to give the best for us, and she never gives up."
Her kids hope to celebrate Mother's Day with her Sunday, but there's a chance Sheila might be working, at her dream job.