It’s challenging to hone down who my Mother was. She was so many, many things. She was kind, strong, innocent, charming, impossible, artistic, conservative, wild, enthusiastic, non judging, loving, indomitable….once she set her mind on something she wanted to accomplish you could never talk her out of it. Which is part of what made her such an incredible fund raiser…there was virtually no way to say no to her. She would charm the money right out of you.
When I was young she developed an addiction to alcohol. Mind you she never, ever neglected my well being but she would drink way too much at night and when she retired after marrying George the drinking was exacerbated. But once she realized that she was hurting not only herself but her family she was determined to quit. She stopped drinking close to 40 years ago. I call that true indomitability.
Some of you might remember when “Gone With the Wind” would play a yearly limited engagement at the local Cinerama movie theatre. Mom and I would go every year. By the intermission she would be crying like a baby…her favorite expression in life came from that movie…”I won’t think about that today…I’ll think about tomorrow”. That saying got us through a lot…anytime life looked bleak or difficult…”I won’t think about that today…I’ll think about that tomorrow”.
She never ever discriminated. This applied not only to race and creed but also to station. She was fascinated by people. Whether you were a bus boy at the local diner or the CEO of a fortune five hundred company, she saw you as equal. And she was sincerely interested in knowing what your life was like…”Do you like being a bus boy?…Are the tips good? Do you have a family? How many children do you have?”…
And she loved babies. If there was a baby within site she would immediately go over to it and tell the mother and/or father that their baby was the cutest baby she had ever seen. “Hello there little one…how are you?” The baby would giggle and the parents would smile…and everybody would be so happy…
My husband and I were unable to have children. But we have dogs…many dogs through the years. And they became her grand children. She would send us cookies for the dogs and toys and doggie collars. She never forgot Christmas presents for them. When we would be on the phone with one another she would always ask “So how are the doggies? Tell me what they’re doing…”. “Well Kobi’s napping right now and Oscar just got up from his nap and is walking outside…” “Really…why do you think they sleep so much?” Tough questions…her innocence was an intoxicating aspect of who she was.
But mostly I would say she loved. Deeply. She never got off the phone without saying…”I love you Kristina…always have and always will”. There were times she drove me crazy. But all those little things that made me crazy were also the things that brought me the greatest admiration for her. She loved. So much so that I thought at times our hearts would break in two. She fought such a good fight. And it was the love that brought her through many difficult times in recent years. Love was at the very root of who she was. It has become my legacy. I am going to miss her deeply. She gave me so many gifts through her experience of life. I am forever proud and grateful….I love you Mom…always have and always will. Thank you.