As Jason Barabasz ponders an alternative reality where he hadn’t met his tour de force wife, Kelli, he channels his inner Matt Foley as worst-case scenarios come to mind. He knows how blessed he and their three children Dillon (29), Alexys (27) and Dominik (24) are to have her guiding their family with her go-getter attitude, empathy and compassion.
Those qualities have not only made an impact on her children and her grandson Oliver, but on Jason, too. He says he’s still a work in progress, but has come a long way and is much further along than he could have ever been on his own. That’s where one of Chris Farley’s most famous SNL characters enters his mind.
“Had I not met Kelli, I would probably be sleeping in a van down by the river,” he said.
By day, Kelli is the president of MAI Voice, and by night she is a super mom of three who loves spending time her family, camping, traveling, painting and going to Buffalo Bills games. She is the heart and soul of her family who can bring them all together, whether for spur-of-the-moment gatherings or big family events.
Because of her selfless nature — which Jason says he’s still trying to learn — she is perfect for the many roles she plays. She blends grace and empathy with the perseverance it takes to thrive in her career and be a loving protector for her kids and grandson.
“Kelli is an unbelievable wife, mother, grandmother, and friend,” Jason said. “She spends her entire life trying to make sure everyone is happy. Even though recently she has had some heart issues, we know she is the heart of the family and the glue that keeps it all together.”
And to think, decades of love began with just a 30-day courtship where Kelli and Jason met while serving in the Army at Fort Bragg, then eloped and were married in Dillon, S.C. Thirty days quickly turned into 30 years of marriage, which they just celebrated in February.
Over the course of those three decades, Kelli has left a permanent mark on so many lives by constantly putting others first without any hesitation.
“Kelli makes sure that our family’s needs are met, often ignoring her own personal needs,” Jason said.
It’s no secret that the Barabasz family has thrived by following Kelli’s lead, and they’re all grateful for every sacrifice she made along the way. Jason can’t possibly think of a better wife, life partner or mother to their three children.
In that respect, he traded that van down by the river for a lifetime of happiness and has loved every minute of it.
“I love you the bestest,” he said. “You are the major reason that our family has for the most part been able to thrive. Happy Mother’s Day to one of the best out there!”
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