Just in time for the holidays, it's time to break out the tissues. Caroline Manzo appeared on an episode of AOL On's My Hero to pay tribute to the one person in her life she looks up to the most: her sister-in-law, Marie.
Caroline tells the story of how while she was pregnant with her third child, Christopher, Marie and her husband Donny, Caroline's brother, finally found out they were pregnant with their first after trying for eight years. Unfortunately, they were told during the pregnancy that the baby would be born with defects. "Donny and Marie decide, 'We're going to have this baby.' Marie gives birth three weeks before me to Elizabeth. And this beautiful little thing has all kinds of issues. And they were so happy and so proud and ready to deal with whatever God gave them," Caroline reveals through tears.
My sister-in-law Marie taught me probably one of the biggest lessons in my life and she deserves to be celebrated.
"Three weeks later I give birth to this magnificent, perfect, beautiful little baby boy, my Christopher. For me, it was a lesson that God blesses you in so many different ways and you have to accept those blessings no matter when they come in your life," she continues. "Marie taught me probably one of the biggest lessons in my life and she deserves to be celebrated."
Caroline then invites both Donny and Marie to her house and surprises Marie with gifts, including a photo album of their biggest family moments. "You may not know this, but 26 years ago you taught me an amazing lesson and one I live over and over every time I see Elizabeth and Christopher together," Caroline tells Marie. "You found out that Elizabeth had these issues. And never for a moment did any of you say, 'Poor me.' Never for a moment did you ever think of her as anything less than a blessing. And that showed me how selfish I was. You taught me what grace is, you taught me what unconditional love is, and you never wavered. And the love and attention that you both give Elizabeth is inspiring."
"I feel overwhelmed with appreciation and joy really mostly to know that you think of me that way," an overcome Marie says in response. "I'm blessed in my heart that I have you for a sister-in-law."
Watch the touching episode below.