We met serendipitously nearly 20-years ago and we have been the closest of friends ever since. There is little we don’t agree on, especially when it comes to singing the praises of our mothers.
Meet Nikki and Kay.
What moment in your mother’s life best illustrates what she stands for?
My mom taught us to look at all people as equals, and she has an inordinate amount of empathy for all human beings. She learned this lesson from her own parents, who had an open door policy in their home for people of all religions and races, and income levels. My grandfather was an equal opportunity employer dating back to the 1920’s in America. My mother can watch a story on television, or read an article in the paper, and if someone is hurt, has fallen on hard times, lost their way, or lost their life, Mom cries as if the stranger is her dear friend. This caring led her to walk to the back of a bus in the Southern U.S. in the 1940’s when the bus driver implored her to stay at the front of the bus with her “own kind.” My mother is a person of principles, and has looked at all human beings as equals in every way. She walked right to the back of that bus, sat down, and happily rode along to her destination. Sounds like a movie!
What do you think your mom’s greatest accomplishment is?
My mom has always made everything look easy! She did this while having a smile on her face, a rousing laugh, and twinkling eyes! How is this possible? My mom did not drive when we were growing up, yet by shuttling us onto buses and trains, and of course walking whenever the weather was decent, we got to wherever we had to go, plus special places. Places such as the city, to plays and ice skating classes, to doctors appointments, friends homes, and to Brownies. How could my mother always make entertaining for 40 look like a breeze? Or have us bathed, tucked in with a bedtime story and record on in the background, have a great hot dinner on the table at 10:00 PM for my dad’s late night arrival home from work, and still have her lipstick fresh!?!?
What do you value most about your mom?
My mom was married in the 1950’s, and dedicated herself to being the best wife and mother a woman could possibly be in those days. She already was a devoted daughter, and she truly did everything so beautifully in her married world that she has been a tough act to follow! She was adept at french cooking, dressed impeccably, made sure our home was not only decorated beautifully but immaculate, she pressed and starched our clothes so we were all (dad included) perfect from head to toe, and on top of this she was a loyal and loving friend. Nothing was ever a “big deal.” Even when someone dropped by unexpectedly she would open the door with a glowing smile on her face and say, “I’m so glad you’re here! Stay for dinner. . .I’ll throw a roast in the oven!” A freshly made angel food cake would have already been sitting on the counter, and within minutes mom was whipping up a great meal. Oh Mom, you do put me to shame!
What do you see as your mom’s greatest strength?
My mom has the ability to smile through the darkest storm. She was raised to believe that no matter what a person’s heartache may be, the next person’s troubles could be worse. Consequently she taught us that we had to leave the house smiling, because we didn’t know what another person might be experiencing in their life. My mom’s ability to “rise above,” no matter how her own heart may have been hurt, has been a real lesson for me. I will always believe her innate nature to look to the positive, believe in the goodness of God, and feel grateful for the gifts she has experienced in life have resulted in her sense of personal peace. She is amazing.
What inspires you about your mom?
My mom wakes up every, single, solitary day with a smile on her face. Those who know the twists and turns of the last few years of my mom’s life could think this is a miracle. But truth be told, this is my mom. She is my human angel.
When I say “I love you Mom,” she has the same answer each and every time, “I adore you.” Could anything be more inspiring? How lucky I am. I adore you Mom.