FRIENDLY GHOST FEATURE: MAMA SEV
by Gho sty·
I have been sitting on this interview for awhile but I waited until mothers day weekend to post it, for obvious reasons.
Mama Sev is on the blog this week!!
I really could write paragraphs about the legend and wonder of Brooke Severe. Everything I am, is because of her. To think of us being friends at the same age, like if we could get both of our high school selves to hang out together, brings tears to my eyes. Tears of laughter - because I am pretty much everything my mom hated in high school. A fashion/boyband/pop culture obsessed peppy cheerleader/dancer/instagrammer. HA! But I know I’d be staring at her from across the hall as she stood by her locker in her vintage graphic tees and oversized Levi’s adoring her confidence and secretly wishing she’d be my friend.
My mom is my idol. Smart as a whip. Witty as all get out. Beautiful beyond WORDS. She puts everyone at ease. Whether it’s my neighbor in the elevator or my little brothers awkward teenage friends. She makes you comfortable. She makes you feel important.
I could go on and on. But my mom as herself, as her eccentric, bad ass, laugh that makes you feel like the most special person in the world, intelligent self, is for another blog post.
I want to talk about my MOM. As just that. My mom.
I adored her as a little girl. I had 3 brothers and until Mary was born we used every excuse we could get to have “girl time.” It was just us two. We were such good friends that as a teenager, we’d fight like sisters. There was no one else’s approval and praise I craved with every part of me like I did with my mom. And though usually I end up doing what I wanted to do anyway, she’s often the only opinion I still care about.
As you get older, the lines start to blur. The lines between authority figure and a real life, good, close friend. Like I said, we’d always been good friends but now that I am a mother, I get her. I understand her. And I love her so much more.
It’s pretty crazy being a young mom now, and realizing that I knew her when she was my age, essentially. I mean, in the same way Seven knows me, but I was THERE. I was apart of her life. While she grew up. You forget that your parents are still growing and evolving while you are too. I was with her while she navigated motherhood at a young age, and a new marriage, being in her twenties, etc. And I wish I remembered. I wish I could go back and have a conversation with her.
I wish we could talk about being a new moms together, back when she was one. I hold the advice she gives me after being a mother for 25 years, very close to my heart. But I wish I could experience the vulnerable side to her as a new mom. I wish I could know how she was feeling. I wish I could quiet her fears knowing what happens in the next 20 years and I wish I could give her a hug and tell her everything was going to turn out fine and she was going to have 5 beautiful healthy children who absolutely adored her.
I wish I could tell her back then that she did it.
But May 9th, 2020 is a good of a day as any.
You did it mom. I love you.
And now here she is, in her own words.
1. when is a time in your life you’ve been the most afraid?
In January when Indy was life-flighted to Utah Valley with the imminent delivery of her 28 week old baby upon us, that was pretty scary and frightening.
But the most terrifying moment of my life happened with Indy 20 years earlier.
We were in Vegas for a short weekend stay with Jake 5, Indy 3 and Danny a new born baby. We were walking from the Treasure Island hotel to the Mirage on the walkway between hotels. We were with a crush of people as we approached the crossing, the road from the strip to the hotel.
Suddenly we heard a peal of tires and a taxi screaming towards us, laying on his horn the whole way, telling us stupid tourists to move out of the way.
We stopped at the curb, along with everyone else and waited for the car, who was still honking his horn, to pass.
We had been stopped on the curb for a good 10 seconds when the taxi finally approached. The cacophony of the car roaring towards us must have been disorienting for Indy. Out of nowhere, little tiny three-year-old little girl darts out into the road right in front of the Taxi. I screamed bloody murder! I will never forget...In that one instant I remember thinking Indy was going to die. There was no other way around it.
It happened so fast, neither I or Scott could react. And in a moment it was over.
Somehow through the tender mercy of the Lord, that Taxi was able to stop just inches from Indy, frozen and petrified. I remember being so shocked that she was okay. Like How???
I felt a rush of gratitude and relief to see that Indy was not hurt. Scott got to her and picked her up and wrapped her in his arms. He also somehow managed to get in a savage pounding on the hood of the car. Several onlookers stepped in to back up Scott when the driver got out of the car. It looked like things could get ugly, but I was pulling Scott away. I felt like we had just witnessed a miracle and I didn’t want to not pay proper attention to that and to hold my little girl who still seemed so fragile and helpless.
To this day, nothing has come close to that feeling of terror as I watched what I thought was going to be the certain death of my little Indy. I hope I never feel anything like that ever again.
2. when were you most proud of yourself?
I don’t know if the most proud I’ve ever been, but one thing I’m very proud of is the journaling I’ve done since I was 8 years old. Though since social media now makes it so easy to document life and make memories, I have slowed down in keeping my physical leather journals. But I still recognize the extreme value of having the thoughts and feelings, words and events written down by 21 year old me on the day before and the day after I was married. So many days recorded. So many things to recall that I never would have remembered in a million years; exact conversations, exact phrases spoken by 2 year old Jake.
I have about 20 journals through the years and one of my most favorite things to do is open a book and just set aside a few hours to get lost and read. In a fire, these journals are the first thing I save.
3. how do you handle comparing yourself to people on social media?
It’s hard. To be honest, I don’t succeed at this very well.
For example, I don’t understand the success of travel videos on YouTube. Including those of my own daughter Indy Blue. I mean love her videos more than anything, but i can’t help but wonder how anyone who is not her mother or sister or Dad, would not feel anything other than jealousy.
These travel videos, I hate them. I get so jealous of that trip and those opportunities and their lifestyle. I agree with Cody Ko that people only get jealous watching those movies and no one really likes them.
But obviously he’s wrong and I’m wrong. And there are smarter and more self-possessed people better than me, who can look at these movies and feel inspired and motivated and moved. I wish I was that kind of well-adjusted person, but I’m not.
I can’t help it. I am a jealous person. So social media can be a huge problem for someone like me.
I think the best way to not compare yourself to others on social media is to not be on social media all that often. Make it a once in a while kind of thing. That’s the only thing that has worked for me...self discipline.
4. go to karaoke song?
Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin. All that wailing and soul and passion feels so good to belt out, even if you got nothing
6. do you have a mantra you live by? or a favorite quote?
Face it and Embrace it -Scott Severe
Do Hard things
But my favorite because it rings so true and is so empowering and pointed.
— Thomas S Monson
You can’t argue with the logic... The decisions we make can have profound consequences, good or bad for our lives. We should give this special consideration every single day. So.. starting tomorrow I am going to eat healthy and exercise... I hate exercising more than anything... so I’m writing this to keep me accountable. Decisions Determine Destiny
7. what was your go to outfit in elementary school? Jr high? High school? Now?
Growing up we did not have a lot of money for “outfits”. I don’t think I had more than one pair of shoes ever. I didn’t put fashion as a high priority in my life. So it’s funny to me how Indy has been a fashionista even in elementary school when she had a newspaper column called Fashion 411. But for me fashion was not a thing i worried about. Though I do remember I had a pretty cute miniskirt in junior high that zipped up from top to bottom, in the front. The boys would call me “ZipZip”. I wore that nickname like a badge of honor.
In high school I had a Levi jacket and I started sewing patches to it. I had never seen it done before, but i thought it would be a cool, unique piece. I had lace fabric on an arm panel. Buttons with slogans, Trim, ribbons, leather... it took me a while to come up with a finished product. I wore it a lot and felt so cool in it. I got a lot of validation from wearing it.
I remember casually giving it away to DI one year and that just about kills me. What I would give to have that jacket back.
See, I didn’t spend a lot of money on clothes, even when I was working a had a job. It just wasn’t important to me. I had a mint-green, knee length short-set with a blue stripe at the knee and a matching shirt. I thought it was so awesome and loved to wear it. That is, until one day at school at UVU, I was talking with my fiancé Scott about meeting his family for the first time, later that day.
He asked me if I could maybe just dress up a little. A seemingly casual request. I remember this specifically stinging because his request was implying that I usually did not look very impressive. It was a SHOCk to me.
I was so confident (for some reason), that I thought I always looked good. No matter what I was wearing. But Scott told me he didn’t like my favorite outfit, the green short set. I was blind-sided.
I did not take it well, but it was a life-lesson learned for me that day. That yes, I may be beautiful and charming with gorgeous brown hair and a knock- out smile..., but no , I can’t just wear a garbage sack and think I’ll look good no matter what.
I literally think it took that for me to start thinking about fashion more seriously. I was 22 at that point.
A mock-up I made last night after an exhaustive Google search turned up nothing.
This is me now. I’m more into fashion
8. what is an unpopular opinion you have?
The office is overrated and not funny
And Sushi is gross
9. describe a perfect day?
A perfect day is my whole family together on vacation somewhere or even just at home. The trick is everyone is being nice to each other. No fighting or teasing. Everyone is being helpful with food and cleaning up. We’re outside playing pickle-ball or corn hole and everyone is just laughing at each other’s jokes. Soft roasting is allowed but nothing more.
10. if you could have a billboard with any quote or saying on it - what would you say?
You did not come this far
to only come this far
11. who makes you laugh the hardest?
My husband Scott is the funniest person I know. A true wit. A natural comedian.
He is my favorite person to be around just because I know we will have the best time and laugh all day long.
I tell my girls (and boys) the most important thing to look for in a mate is sense of humor. Are they funny? Are they clever?
Sure, work ethic is important and honesty and integrity are right up there. But for me, I want someone who entertains me, someone who owns every room he walks in to. Who can break dance and dive into the worm in a dance circle at a wedding. A person everyone wants on their team and as their best friend. And that’s Scott Severe.
He makes me smile and laugh all day, every day and that is priceless.
12. What is a feeling you miss?
I miss being a newlywed. It was such a fleeting moment with me getting pregnant with Jake, who was basically a honeymoon baby. I was sick immediately with morning sickness and it was all over after that. Indy came 20 months after Jake.
We never really got to have the young, carefree newly-married life. And I want that experience. I feel cheated a little bit. I wonder how our lives would be different if we had taken a couple of years to have kids after being married. Maybe we wouldn’t have even made it. We had a volatile first year and the baby probably saved us.
13. what is your favorite thing about yourself?
I like that I have a creative mind. It may not manifest it in obvious ways. But on occasion it does. I like to think I have brilliant ideas and solutions to needs, but I have a hard time convincing my children. Some day they will realize I knew what i was doing. One of these days Indy is going to implement just ONE of my ideas.
I like my political mind and like to be informed. This is a direct influence from the way I grew up. My Mom only listened to talk radio growing up. So much so, that I thought our car radio was broken and only has AM. It was Rush Limbaugh all the time. My mom gave me my political leanings and passion for it.
I remember driving with her one night delivering a bid to a customer. It was pouring rain and we were listening to the Election Night Coverage between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. My mom was so excited and it was infectious.
Now we have 24/7 news coverage and podcasts and Twitter and Donald Trump. 2020 is going to be a good one for a political junkie like me. Hopefully I pass the passion on to my children who show promising signs already. S’proud.