It’s just the end of another work week for Sarah Lowell, as she prepares dinner for her two children, Darrell, 8 and Elijah, 3.
Lowell cherishes the time she spends with her children, she knows all too well that time is fleeting.
The youngest of three children and the only girl, Sarah Lowell was born in Denver to Ralph Lowell and Modesta Lara. Her parents divorced when she was seven, and Lara relocated with her children to Pueblo, to be closer to family.
The family lived at the local YWCA for nearly a year, until Lara was able to get back on her feet and afford an apartment.
The eldest brother Samuel took over as father figure to Lowell and her brother Daniel. Sam looked after both Sarah and Daniel until he became involved with gangs at the age of 14.
Lowell developed a close relationship with her brother Daniel.
She said, “I was closer to my brother Daniel growing up just because we were closer in age and he wasn’t so hard on me like Sam was.”
Being the only girl, Lowell grew up as a tomboy. She played hard with the boys and had few girlfriends. Being half white and half Mexican, she often felt excluded from both races, as well.
Despite her difficulties as a child, Lowell’s mother always made sure she and her brothers understood the importance of education. Lara pushed her children to excel in academics. She made sure homework was always done; all while being a single mother and struggling to put food on the table.
With Lara’s emphasis on education, all three children graduated from college with bachelor’s degrees.
After high school, Lowell decided to take a much-deserved year off. She met her ex-husband, became pregnant and had her first child in that whirlwind of a year. She describes her marriage as far from perfect. She miscarried a child because of the severe stress of the relationship.
Though the marriage ended in divorce, she is happy to have been blessed with her first son Darrell.
“I felt I let my kid down, and that’s the worst feeling in the world. I knew it was the right thing to do, and now that Darrell is eight, I know I made the right choice,” she said.
Although Lowell had suffered through a bad relationship and divorce, it wasn’t long until she met the love of her life, Phillip Padilla. When she met Phil, she finally understood what true love was and how it should be.
A year later, she had her second son, Elijah.
Being a proud mother, she began to realize it was time to return to school so she could provide her children with the lives they deserve. In 2014, she graduated from CSU-Pueblo with her bachelor’s in accounting.
Padilla describes the difficulties that Lowell went through as strenuous; she worked, went to school full-time, and was a mother to her two wonderful boys. She had school responsibilities and had to study in between making dinner, giving baths, changing diapers, and reading bedtime stories.
With Padilla and her children, she had finally reached a comfortable place in life.
However, Lowell’s mother, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, and surgery wasn’t an option because the disease had already spread throughout her lung.
Lara endured eight rounds of chemotherapy in hopes of fighting off the cancer. Despite her efforts, the treatments were ineffective, and the cancer tripled in size, spreading to other organs.
She was placed in hospice, under the supervision of the Lowell’s brother Daniel. He saw to the day-to-day care and witnessed her struggle first hand. Lowell and her brother Samuel spent as much time with their mother as possible.
Lara passed away on July 22, 2014, a week before her 54th birthday.
“I cry everyday for my mom, everyday. It’s been six months and the pain has only gotten worse. I just try to focus on my kids and work, and they help distract from the emptiness I feel,” Lowell said. “She was not only the best mother anyone could have, she was my best friend. I finally have a successful job, and I owe it all to her.”
The tumultuous life events Lowell has endured haven’t made her bitter or resentful. In fact, these events have made her quite the opposite and shaped who she is today.
She may have a tough exterior, but don’t let that fool you. Lowell lives in the moment and never takes anything for granted.
Her eldest brother Samuel would describe her as, “Stubborn, spoiled, but most of all strong and smart.”
Lowell lives for her children because she has learned from experience that every moment with her family is precious.