I often feel the loss of my mom but especially on Mothers Day. I recall what made my mom so special with mixed feelings of loss and love and why she is so dearly missed.
My dad would be the first to tell you that my mom was no great “bahlehboosteh” (homemaker). She went to work and ran a clothing manufacturing company for her boss while my grandmother, who lived with us, cooked the chicken soup and my Aunt Sylvia made the pot roast. She didn’t have a lot of time or money to entertain guests, either, but my earliest recollections of our first apartment and subsequent homes were one of style, order, and beauty. My mother had a “knack,” as people would say, of putting things together. They were never really expensive things, except my Spinet piano which was the only new purchase in our first home in Queens. Perhaps that is why I always try to include, whenever possible, a piano in my design projects. I know how much music brings to a home, and today, pianos can play even if the people who own them can’t.
So when Donna Reed and Beaver’s mom were the norm, my mother wasn’t there to give me milk and cookies after school, which is true of many working moms today. Yet, she set the tone and the routine, creating the backdrop for a well-run household with love and encouragement. Grandma was the disciplinarian, Aunt Sylvia was the big sister I never had, but MOM was the final word, always.
So, what made our house a home? What was the secret my mother knew that all moms seek to discover to bring love and beauty to their families? How did she create order before Feng Shui, even if we think that living then was less hectic and complicated? Her life wasn’t easy by any means – a child of the depression, along with my dad, responsible for a widowed mother, mother-in-law and much younger sister. Perhaps it was old fashioned common sense mixed with a fierce determination that her family would live the American dream. One thing for sure, her priorities never wavered in good times and bad – family & home – and my mother always kept her eye on the ball. Until a year before she died, she was interested, involved and supportive of everything in the lives of her 4 generation brood.
As an interior designer, my mission and passion have been to bring these same values to those whose lives I touch. I have had the advantage of training and the blessing of being able to boast of years of experience, but I know, now, as never before, how much of my life and work have been influenced by the love, inspiration and encouragement of a truly wonderful mother. Thank you, Mom. I hope you know how many people, whom you’ve never met, I have left with a little part of you.