Life was different back in the day. Community was vital. Childhood antics, teenage exploits, and the challenges of young adulthood revealed I didn't know what I thought I knew. Through all of this, the greatest influence of my life was my mom. She helped me process the good and the bad. Instead of being one-dimensional live, love, and laugh with the great intention and anticipation of more. As she is no longer with me her words and laughter linger on, and I am emancipated. I learned that the greatest gift of life was and truly is love; unpretentious, nurtured, and existing to be shared with others. Jackie Brown Riddick is a native of Sunbury, North Carolina where she grew up in rural Gates County and attended public schools. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC. She is happily married and honors the sanctity of marriage as the loving wife to Phillip Riddick for 30 years, mother of two sons (Phil & Mikey), and one granddaughter (Mikayla). She has traveled to many lands, but insists that people are the same with like passions. She believes God loves us all and everyone has value. While sharing her experiences she hopes to empower others to thrive in their virtues and abilities, and simply enjoy life. She ministers alongside her husband, Phillip who is pastor. They currently live in Chesapeake, Virginia.