This post was written by my brother, Bobby Jeppson.
My mom is a witch.
Not the evil, wart on the nose, pointy hat kind of witch. Something a little closer to Glenda the Good Witch. Or even better, a combination of Molly Weasley, Minerva McGonagall, and Hermione Granger. She not only has magical qualities, but actual, real-life magical powers! She can transfigure herself, stop time, apparate, read minds, and transform other things. She can exercise power over other people in a way that cannot be explained using scientific reasoning or logical deduction. There’s really no way to explain or understand her abilities without watching her in action.
As I read the posts of the last few days, I came to realized that mom can transfigure herself into anything in the world depending on the needs of others. She is exactly what someone else needs, yet she is always herself. She never pretended to be a second mom to the teenager who needed it, she literally was that second mom. I never knew her as a great scripture scholar, but she was for those seminary classes. At times she has been my nurse, my psychologist, my drill sergeant and my friend. She is a leader when the occasion calls for it, and a follower when Christ requires it.
Mom can read minds. How else would she always know I needed her to call me at college? How else would she write just the letter I needed on my mission? How did she always know I needed to say something but couldn’t find the courage to say it? How would she seem to sense when one of her kids was about to do something stupid and find a way of talking sense into us? And don’t even bother trying to lie to mom. She knew. She always knew.
Mom can apparate. She must also have a time-turner. There is no other way to explain how she can be in so many places at once. I first noticed this power when I was in high school. Somehow she would be making costumes for one of Christie’s plays one moment, and the next moment be cheering from the stands as I sat on the bench during a basketball game. (Which brings to mind the power to embarrass her kids in front of their friends. Yes, Mom, everyone knows I’m your son. You don’t have to yell it so loud every time I get in the game.) Then before you know it she’s back home feeding the little ones and putting them to bed. Having eight kids required the impossible of being everywhere, all the time. Surely she had supernatural powers to pull that off.
I think Mom’s greatest power is the ability to transform things. Mom would take a
hideous floral print of fabric and transform it into the raddest pair of Jams in the fourth grade. Who else could take a short, skinny, dweeby little kid, add some homemade shorts, knee high socks, a customized t-shirt, and cleats and turn that combo into the coolest dude on the playground? How do you take a Monday night filled with rowdy, tired kids and turn that into a sermon without even opening the scriptures? Or how do you put 12 teenagers into a van, drive 10 hours, sleep on the floor every night, go to 10 classes a day, and turn that into the most anticipated part of summer vacation? Yet year after year she kept trekking up to Provo for Education Week with a van full of kids, some her own and some belonging to others. And with those trips she made the most impressive of transformations. Somehow she turned lazy, rebellious or indifferent teenagers into engaged students, missionaries, and humble followers of Christ. She takes the gospel of Jesus Christ and transforms it from words on the page into living action. A theoretical concept becomes a concrete example every time she welcomes a new family into the ward over dinner, takes a struggling youth into her home, or fulfills a calling without a hint of reluctance.
Yes, no doubt about it. Mom is a witch! For years and years she has been manipulating everyone around her. She has used her powers to make people do things they never would have otherwise. So many graduations, missions, temple marriages can be blamed on one individual. She is responsible for so much happiness, so much progress, so much joy. It must be magic.