People of Charlotte, please meet Maye Schwartz! Maye's story prompts us to see the beauty in both the triumphs and challenges in life. She reminds us that every experience allows us the opportunity to grow and reflect. No doubt, Maye's story will leave your heart and outlook feeling a little warmer on this cooler fall day.
Now, let's get to know Maye's story.
Your strength and positivity is a special gift that you want to share with others. What is your inspiration?
I feel my family’s story is a tribute of God’s grace and tender mercies as well as a story of strength, courage, and hope. I know many strong women and consider myself amongst them. Through much adversity, trials, and tribulations, we continue to persevere. No matter the hardships, I still see the beauty of life as I do when I look through the lens of my camera.
I look forward to the future with faith and hope. There is always light at the other side of adversity.
How do you count your blessings?
I have many blessings in my life, especially being my two daughters. My oldest is 33 and severely disabled, having a rare birth defect known as Apert Syndrome. We receive private duty nursing care through Bayada Home Health Care in Charlotte. We also have great support through friends and people in the community. My youngest is 26, lives in Colorado, and recently received her master’s degree in counseling.
Your family's story is not an "everyday" story. Can you share some of your difficult journey to help others who are also facing challenges?
In 2004, my family and I moved from Long Island, New York to Charlotte, North Carolina. As Charlotte became home, some dysfunction manifested within my husband, causing his ongoing mental health issues to worsen. Due to the buildup of his issues, my family and I were greatly impacted. Finances became a struggle after a comfortable life and tension was at an all-time high. During this time, I also battled cancer twice. After my recovery, things continued to decline, ultimately resulting in my husband dying by suicide in 2015. My world was turned even more so upside down, now being widowed and left with two children to parent. Meanwhile, our house had recently sold prior to my husband’s death. After six weeks of determination, hard work and by the strength of God, we moved into our new home. I was left in a very difficult financial situation and had many things to tackle that I had never tackled before. I had other obstacles to overcome as well due to the dysfunction that was incurred but overcome I did.
Your positivity is inspiring. How do you remain so centered?
Again, by the strength of God, along with his grace and mercies to always protect and provide, he is truly a miracle worker. I am tenacious and a survivor and choose to count my many blessings. I do not look back as I am not going in that direction. I look forward to the future with faith and hope. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my hardships have served as an opportunity for growth. There is always light at the other side of adversity.
Self-care is so important. What outlets help you take care of you?
I fill my days with my passion for photography and consider myself a floral portrait photographer. I am also an avid reader and have a great zest for knowledge and learning new things. Despite life’s challenges, the essence of who I am is a happy person.
Your floral photography is stunning. Where can we see more of your images?
My photography is on display at Black Lion as well as Indigo Pearl in Waxhaw.
What advice would you share with others who are going through a difficult time?
My advice to others would be to always have hope and cling to the beauty of life, especially when things are difficult.
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