There is no better person to introduce the day after Mother’s Day than my own mom, Kerry Kilpatrick. If you don’t know Kerry – she is one of the friendly faces you’ll find at Oscars Source for Adventure and probably one of the most influential women you’ll ever meet when it comes to the sport of fly-fishing. I am proud to say that she is a much sought-after teacher, instructor and wisdom-giver. (Although the chances of her telling you her favourite fishing spots are slim!)
In addition to the public part of her life, my mom is a kind, warm-hearted woman who has spent much of her life giving selflessly to other people, not the least being my siblings and I. She worked 2 jobs growing up to make sure we had everything we needed and only lost her cool sometimes when she’d come home from a long shift and find the dishes weren’t done or we hadn’t exactly followed her instructions for the evening. I can’t imagine the strength and resolve it took to raise 4 kids, but she did it and made it look easy.
My mom is also generous with her time; when I had my first daughter, she embraced becoming a Grandmother and is affectionately known as Nama in our house now. She’s been a wonderful mother-in-law to my husband, and as I’ve grown, she’s become an irreplaceable friend who can also run circles around me!
I am grateful for our family lineage of strong women that came before us, and I can see that we also have a lot of the same thread weaving through us. She is fiercely independent, strong, capable. I think life’s lessons have made her that way but I would venture to say that she likely wouldn’t change a thing – she’s not really one for regrets. If I can be half the person she is, well, there aren’t even words to express how much she is loved and respected.
At the end of the day, I know that she will always, always be our safe place. She’s our anchor, our supporter. You’d be lucky to know her.
Welcome to the table, Mom!
How long have you lived in the Bulkley Valley?
I arrived in the Bulkley Valley in 1968 when my father retired from the Armed Forces. My grandparents had a ranch in Driftwood so it seemed like the best place to relocate to.
What is one thing you’ve learned about friendship, or community?
Community is the people you are surrounded by and interact with. Could be the grocery store clerk. Could be the person you meet walking to work. It’s a very diversified group.
What is one thing you are learning?
I’m trying to learn new things and challenge myself. I learned how to play chess this winter! Learning and not giving up.
What is one thing you’d tell to your younger self?
Keep growing, keep learning, be open to change and find ways to stay healthy.
Who inspires you, and why?
I’m inspired by many people. Watching people overcome many kinds of adversity is inspiring to me. Watching people take on a challenge to make a difference is inspiring. Watching my grown kids live their lives is inspiring.
What do you know to be true, and how do you carry that day to day?
My family, near and far are very important to me. I like spending time with all of them. Sharing my knowledge and passions with old and young. Not being afraid to get involved to make changes for the things you believe in.
What a beautiful tribute to an amazing woman! So thankful for strong women who have gone before us and shown us the way.
So good Billie.
She’s one in a million and so humble about all of her accomplishments.