Who is Michele Feeney and Why Should You Listen To Her?
by Lynne K. Love
I listen to Michele Feeney. She gets me. Maybe it’s because we’re from the same place. You might not know Port Huron, thirty thousand small, and on the Michigan side of beautiful Lake Huron. Just a zip of a boat ride across the Lake Huron to Canada. or accessible by car via the Blue Water bridge.
Michele’s mile-a-minute stories about growing up on their Christmas tree farm got me from the get-go. For instance, some years she and her family painted the Christmas trees green. She worked her way into college at sixteen, and has pushed hard for what she’s believed in, in the nicest way possible way, ever since.
You also need to know what Michele thinks about dressing, since clothes are a reoccurring metaphor of Volunteer Mom. Michele believes in the power of black cardigans or little black dress, depending on the occasion. Great equalizers, she says, since she doesn’t want her appearance to barricade herself from others. She doesn’t want to drill down anyone with power suits and jewelry; except for the days she wears her attorney heels.
People talk to Michele. Everyone from cafeteria workers to the homeless, moms to Fortune 500 CEOs tell her their authentic stories. Being a sought-after listener is a helpful skill for a mom, lawyer and writer.
She’s made a home for more than one young person of promise, in addition to frequently serving as a Volunteer Mom for her four children, and whoever else needs her help. She stands up for and assists good people, and wrongfully served underdogs.
My admiration and appreciation for Michele keeps growing. I’ve watched her straddle transitioning states of motherhood. She’s morphed from full-time lawyer mom, to full-time mom, and then back to part-time mother/lawyer/writing teacher. These changes have enriched and broadened her appeal of being able to find self-respect and humor, based not just on her extensive professional accomplishments, but also, in her ability to make time for, and appreciate little moments.
She’s served for four years running as a Boy Scout Den Mother, and has learned how to set up camp in woodsy terrain with packs of boys and dads without batting an eyelash. She’s later able to relay witty campy stories in her beguiling deadpan fashion.
You’ll want listen to Michele. She gets the big, and the little. And, she’s someone who you can really trust to really go the distance with. She’s hung with me since freshman year in college. She’s shared my years as a student, young professional, new mom, maxed out mom, Volunteer Mom, and now, empty nest mom. She’s dependably there with true character, insight, and humor. Always, humor.
How many people can you count on to text you the morning after a bad day, with an “are you okay?” A best friend who deeply cares what my answer will be. With Michele Feeney? We’re talking real sustainability.