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In honor of International Women’s Month, today’s episode of About Your Mother brings you a story highlighting the strength and power of maternal lineage. In this dual interview, we celebrate the life of Vera Obermeyer, who recently passed away due to COVID. Our guests are here to talk about her long and colorful life full of purpose.
The conversation is with Vera’s daughter and granddaughter, Sarai Obermeyer and Amy Kelly. Listen as Sarai and Amy share stories of Vera and her strong, maternal influence on them. They also share some of the family’s traumatic past and how it inspired them to lend their voice to those who need it the most.
Breaking the Mold
Sarai remembers her mother’s advocacy of women’s rights when there was hardly any. Vera broke the mold of her time being a mother, career woman, and a strong voice of equality. Yet, she did not aim to bring anyone down but lift everyone to equal status.
“There was an understanding that women should have the right and access to fulfill their potential. But that did not mean that when I didn’t mind the rights of men, you would want men and boys also to fulfill their potential.” – Sarai Obermeyer
Vera’s views and the virtues she had instilled in them have also led them to a life of helping others and fighting for the marginalized and oppressed.
Relationships Over Everything
Sarai takes us through her memories with her mother and how she raised her children and nurtured a career. While it was a big undertaking, Sarai understood that for Vera, having a job was an essential thing in her life.
She also reveals that her mother valued relationships over anything. She formed powerful bonds with every person that she held dear, as Sarai found out when she talked to one of her friends:
“When I was speaking to her after my mother passed away, she was just tearful. It was so sad. You can just feel the beautiful friendship they had and she then lost by my mother passing away. When you think about it: from 10 to 91… an 81-year-old friendship. How many people have an 81-year-old friendship? Not many.” – Sarai Obermeyer
Follow Your Instincts
I think being critical, following your own instincts, and making your own choices is really important. - Amy Kelly Click To Tweet
Amy shares her grandmother’s experiences when raising her children in the 1950s. Women were expected to follow a particular way of life, but Vera didn’t go with the flow. She relied on her instincts and what she thought was right.
Naturally, people who expect others to conform did not like that.
“People thought she was crazy. They really thought she was just beating to her own drum. Yet she just knew the whole time, she just followed her own instincts and made her own decisions with what she felt was right versus what society tells you is right.” – Amy Kelly
Despite being a woman with strong opinions, Vera never forcefully imposed her own views on her children. She let them choose their own course in life and supported them wholeheartedly. Yet, she was always there to ask the right questions and help them consider their options and think critically at all times.
To learn more about Sarai Obermeyer & Amy Kelly and how one woman inspired them to be better, download and listen to this episode.
About Amy Kelly
Amy Kelly is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in Child, Adolescent, and Reunification therapy. She graduated from UC Davis with a BA in Psychology, SF State with an MFT in Clinical Psychology and completed CE with the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Amy is a member of CAMFT and is featured on Psychology Today Profile and GoodTherapy.org. She has been published on TherapyToday writing on Social Media use and Reunification therapy.
About Sarai Obermeyer
Sarai Obermeyer was a Deputy District Attorney at Solano County District Attorney’s Office. Sarai focused on preventing violence and stopping discrimination in order to better humanity. She has a proven track record in leadership, management, advocacy, problem-solving, planning, oral and written communication, research and analysis.
She is the Supervising Attorney for Legal Aid of Sonoma County, where she supervises Domestic Violence attorneys and caseworkers as they evaluate, prepare, and present cases in court.
Connect with Sara & Amy!
Website: Legal Aid of Sonoma County