CANTON, Ohio -- Motherhood is a constant juggling act. And no one balances it better than Brook Harless of Canton.
In fact, Harless was recently named Ohio’s Mother of the Year by American Mothers, a national organization that is the official sponsor of Mother’s Day.
“When I got the call, I’ve never heard of them. I instantly said, 'Is this a prank call?' Then I asked who nominated me, and she wouldn’t tell me; I wish I knew!” said Harless.
She is a mother to three boys: Mason, Brantley, and Weston.
“I wanted to cry because I was scared to be a mother when I was younger. I came from a household of abuse from my mother and grandmother and I was always afraid of having children because I didn’t know if it was something genetic that would be carried down to my children,” said Harless.
Harless had to overcome a difficult childhood in Arizona.
“I was homeless, looking for food, looking for help for my mom with her drug addiction, my grandmother with her alcohol. When my aunt and uncle adopted me and moved us to Canton, Ohio, I finally got to think long-term,” said Harless.
She went to Texas for college and decided to join the military.
She was injured in a training accident, given a medical discharge, and retired.
“I’ve had 41 surgeries to date, but I won’t let that slow me down. I still want to give to others. There is a need and it’s fulfilling,” said Harless.
On top of being a full-time mother and wife, Harless volunteers for multiple veteran organizations, along with different women’s groups.
She is currently raising funds to attend the 84th National Convention of American Mothers and receive the award in person.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help her do that.