Happy Mother’s Day to Moms everywhere!

When I was a kid, my mom taught me to say please and thank you by offering me something, then withholding it until I said please and not letting it go until I said thank you. When I was a teenager, my sister and I would laugh that Mom could be in the middle of making dinner, talking to Grandma on the phone, watching the news, and telling my dad something, and we could come in and tell her we had dentist appointments on the 12th, and sure enough, she’d remember to get us to the dentist on the 12th. That’s my mom.

I also remember, as a teenager, arguing my point to get out of being grounded and telling my mom she was being unfair, to which she replied, “Jody Lynn, one day you’re going to write a tell-all book about your life. And when you do, spell my name right.” That’s my mom.mom

As an adult, when I bought my first car (the Jeep that I still drive), my Mom told me nine ways to Sunday not to buy it. She wanted me to get a Grand Am or something like that. She had the car all picked out, too, and wouldn’t listen to anything different. Jeep shmeep. I told her I wanted a small vehicle that would turn easily so I could park it in the city (I was living in D.C. at the time), a vehicle that sat up higher than a car since we had the third worst traffic in the nation and I wanted to be able to see the road ahead. Mom would hear none of it. But I’d really thought this through, and when my car died on me, in traffic, of course, I marched myself to the dealership and bought a Jeep against my mom’s wishes. But, days later, I got a call from my sister who told me she overheard mom talking to Grandma and the Aunts about how my Jeep is so practical and will be easy to park in the city and sits up higher than the other cars around me… This one surprised me. But, that’s my mom.

When I lived in Virginia my next door neighbors were two gay men who looked after our entire street and would invite me over for amazing dinners. My mom made them jelly. They had her on speed dial. Yeah, my mom.

When I published my book last year, my mom became my biggest champion. gift basketShe sent books to the neighbors and relatives. She started keeping a box of signed copies in her car so she always had them handy to sell. She even bought herself an iPad so she could use a Square reader to take credit card payments for books. That’s my mom.

I know my mom’s impressive. I grew up with this strong, vibrant, opinionated woman who is caring to a fault, and I know how exceptional she is. This is a woman who once snuck backstage at a concert “because no one was looking” and got as far as the dressing room door before she was stopped. Mom and meThis is a woman who asked my dad if he’d take her skydiving for her birthday one year (and he did!). She’s a woman who was once whistled at in Pittsburgh by a former Steeler quarterback–which completely mortified her because she thought Grandma could throw better. That’s my mom.

Last week I went to a meeting at my church here in Minnesota and the deacon asked about my mom—by name. My parents live in Pennsylvania. My mom has been to the church here maybe a couple times. The deacon knows her by name?? And that’s when it hit me: Others see it, too.

Hundreds of miles away from where she and my dad live, people ask about her. She’s revolutionary. Strong. She’s learning new tricks all the time (and now she’s teaching them to my nephew). She’s my biggest advocate.  Fearless. She’s accepting of everyone and everything. (Well, except for bad manners, of course.)

Happy Mother’s Day to the short, spunky blonde woman in Pennsylvania who taught me everything I know about how to treat others, how to make choices, and how to really live.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, available on Amazon.

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