In Praise Of Mothers

My mother was the most important person in the world to me. Her praise and encouragement gave me the confidence to follow my dreams. She wasn’t perfect, but she had the patience and self-control to let me express myself through clothes and makeup even if she didn’t approve. In eighth grade I went through a period of wearing heavy eye makeup to school. From my lash line to my eyebrows, which I plucked down to thin arches, I applied a rainbow of colors. It was bizarre but she never criticized or forbade me to go to school that way. I remember watching in horror once when a friend and her mother took to hand to hand combat as the mom attempted to peel the mascara off her eyelashes while berating her as we were on our way out. I realized how lucky I was to have a supportive, non-judgmental mother. Years later I asked her why she never said anything about my crazy makeup. She told me she knew it was a phase and would pass and then praised me on how perfectly I applied it.

As an adult my mother was my main cheerleader and my most trusted confident. Through jobs, love affairs, and a business she was there lending her help, support, advise and love. She was extremely funny and could always see the humor in even the most desperate situations. She never took herself too seriously and when she was around there was always laughter, or a good yuk as she would say.

When my brothers and I had children of our own, five born within three years, our mother was elated. She asked to be called Grandy as she had called her own beloved grandmother. She was an Auntie Mame type of grandmother and forged deep bonds with all her grandchildren.

Ten years ago, when my girls were nine and six, we tragically lost her in an instant. The car she was a passenger in was broadsided in a traffic intersection. Not a day has gone by since then that I don’t think of her and miss her desperately. Holidays and birthdays can be particularly hard. What I’ve learned over the years is that the love she so generously lavished on her family continues to live on inside us. She’s still with us in the happy memories and funny quips I often find myself repeating.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, past and present. To mark the occasion I’ve posted photos of beautiful mothers, including my own.

My mother with my daughter  November 1999.
Michelle Obama and daughters
Princess Grace age 40 with her children
Carolina Herrera and daughter Carolina
Joan Didian with daughter Quitana
Jacqueline Kennedy and Caroline
Ingrid Bergman with twins Isabella and Isotta
Patti Hansen with daughters Theodora and Alexandra
Christie Turlington and daughter by Bruce Weber