Let Me Tell You About Mama Welliver…

Monday greetings to you all!

I sincerely hope that the May flowers of the Spring have been keeping you smiling with their beautiful bursts of color and that their strong scents haven’t been too much of a nuisance for those pesky allergies!

This past weekend, we were able to celebrate the BIGGEST Hallmark Card holiday of all holidays…one could say it is the “mother” of all holidays!

That’s right! You guessed correctly!


And as you all continue to read today’s blog post, I’d just like to take a moment and wish all the mothers out there in the world–past, present, and future a very happy and belated by one day Mother’s Day…this also includes those mothers who are no longer with us. All of you are (and have been and continue to be) pioneers in this world with your support, love, and never-ending compassion. And we couldn’t be more thankful!

And…with that being said, I’d like to extend a HUGE happy Mother’s Day to the one and only, Mama Welliver! I’m not sure words can actually begin to express how much I appreciate and love her, but I sure as heck am going to do my best!

Where do I even start? Better yet, how do I possibly say it all? Maria Von Trapp in the The Sound of Music (which happens to be one of Mama Welliver’s favorites), tells us to start at the very beginning…so I will try to do just that!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been super close with my mom. Back in the day of growing up a tiny little Mr. Sunshine, she did and still does it all! From packing my lunches for school (sometimes I secretly wish this still happened because I’m a terrible eater at times), coming into my room during the mornings to make sure my alarm did in fact wake me up and that I was on the go and moving, or giving me a big hug and saying “I love you” before stepping on to the school bus. It’s all part of the never-ending list of things that make Mama Welliver extra special.

And I don’t care what anyone says, getting a hug from a mom is the best feeling in the world…hands down.

During the olden days, when I was a wee little child, I remember getting so excited to go grocery shopping with her. I thought it was like the best thing since sliced bread. The tradition was a Thursday night trip to Weis Markets where we would go up and down the aisles grabbing the items needed while I pushed the cart, which proved to be hard to steer sometimes as it got both fuller and heavier. Side note: For those who don’t know, Mama Welliver is super organized, so she had a list of items all ready to go classified by the aisle number the items were in. And as luck should have it, we got to make our own little trip to the grocery store yesterday on Mother’s Day–something we haven’t done together in forever! And believe it or not, she still has her list organized by aisle!

No matter what we were doing, we always would have a great time–I’m the type of person that told Mama Welliver everything…and in some cases…too much. I still do to this day.

Just the other week, I wore vomited at the lunch table and what was Mama Welliver’s response? “Johnny–you’re funny when you get worked up.”

Fun side note…Mama Welliver calls me Johnny a lot!

Senior year of high school I think was the toughest one for the relationship with my mom. After coming out of the closet, it just seemed that all communication became more yelling than anything–we just didn’t see eye to eye on anything. The yelling was territory that I was unfamiliar with and I just didn’t know how to deal with it. It was a tough, emotional struggle for sure, especially with going away to school.

Ultimately, we worked through it with conversation, questions, and seeking to understand each other. And today, things couldn’t be better.

Mama Welliver is someone who has always been in the audience (with my dad of course too) to support me through every single production, concert, recital, or award ceremony that I’ve ever been a part of…and let me tell you…there have been a lot of them. And I’ve been doing this kind of stuff for at least 20 years. Just ask her how many shows she’s struggles to stay awake at…totally kidding, mom! You know I like to give you a hard time about that!

Mama Welliver is the type of person who will take anyone under her wing. She is the type of person who always puts the needs of others first. She is the type of person who will make sure that everyone has a place to go for a holiday meal so that no one is left out.

She is the one that is responsible for my curly hair gene…and for those of you who’ve seen my hair recently, it is pretty darn curly…and long. And I can’t wait to cut it.

She is the one that is responsible for bringing me up on the morals of kindness, love, and putting others first in life.

She is the one responsible for giving me my fear of confrontation. Like mother, like son–we are both people that do not enjoy or do well at crucial conversations…but we’re working on that.

She is also the one responsible for giving me the “worry about everything” gene. Haha. We are both such worriers…to the maximum level.

Mama Welliver–thank you for always being there to support me through it all. Thank you for passing down your curly hair gene, for always coming out to watch my shows even if they are ones that don’t excite you, and for pushing me to always put 110% into everything that I undertake.

Thank you for always allowing me to give you a hard time for being short when we take photos beside each other. You are always such a good sport about it.

Thank you for taking time to seek and understand my sexuality. I know it wasn’t easy and I know that it still has both scary and rough moments for you, but it is something that I can’t put into words with how much I appreciate it and how much it means to me.

You’ve never stopped believing in me, supporting me, or loving me.

My thirst and passion for life, love for others, smile, and Mr. Sunshine attitude have stemmed from everything you’ve taught me over the last 31 years. We’ve evolved and been through our share of tough times, but we have always come out of it all beaming the same smile…and apparently the same vests too!

I love you, Mama Welliver and I can’t begin to thank you enough for the person you have made me today.

Sprinkle sunshine always,