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As a woman who has lived through many passages and learned through my larger than life experiences (positive and negative), I’ve discovered how to take a big empowering bite out of life.

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Celebrating My Mother’s Legacy on Mother’s Day: Loss After 50

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there and to the mother’s daughters. If you are blessed to still have your mother in your life, hold her close and show her what she means to you.

Mother's Day after losing your mom Honey Good

It just never dawned on me that I would lose my mother. That I would come to face a Mother’s Day without her. For 32 years, she was an elevator ride away until she left me on the first day of Rosh Hashana, 2022. For Mother’s Day, after having some time to collect my thoughts, I celebrate my mother’s legacy.

I recall walking down Pearson Street a week ago with my pooch, America. It was early morning; the city was still fast asleep. Over the past week,  I knew my mom was failing, it never dawned on me until that morning walk that I was going to lose her. The realization was overwhelming; tears rolled down my cheeks. My thoughts turned to my mom’s legacy, the gifts she left me in my head.

Unquestionably, whirling thoughts reminded me of my old Rolodex as I searched for stories laced with her wisdom. In my eyes, my mother was a woman of valor, her moral compass was pristine.

Celebrating My Mother’s Legacy

First and foremost, my mother will always be the most important woman in my life. She was my first teacher; her wise lessons have boded me well and will remain with me for eternity.  Like every mother and daughter relationship, the bonds of steel can never be severed. The high hills of laughter and exciting times are mixed with an unchartered voyage of discovery along a snaking road often marred by potholes. And yet, the shared chemistry between every mother and daughter is fierce and can never be broken.

My mother gave me my roots and my wings. She gave me the fire in my sails. She showered me with wisdom, the ability to know right from wrong, and the moral compass to strive for what I believe in at all costs. I am privileged to carry her lessons with me all the days of my life.

One of the most valuable gifts my mother bestowed upon me is to understand and practice gratitude, which is the quality of being thankful, showing appreciation for, and returning kindness. A  grateful person is a happier person. Thank you, mom.

As I stand here today, I know my mom would want me to celebrate her life. She learned much over her 100 years and would be pleased if I left you with some of her wisdom.


celebrating a mother's legacy

A few years ago, I asked her if I could interview her. She was startled but agreed. Here were her answers.

Mom: give me your advice on style.

Your style comes from within and radiates out. It is not the dress you wear, it is the smile you wear. It is twinkling eyes, great posture, a curious mind, and a great personality that will set you apart from other women.

What about gossiping among women?

Remember, dear daughter of mine, if you tell one woman a secret, it is no longer a secret.

What if you know people are talking about you?

That is an easy answer. If people are talking about you, you know you are interesting!

When our children disappoint us, what can we do?

An old and true saying is that one mother can take care of ten children. Ten children have a hard time taking care of one mother. Remember: You give your children their roots and then their wings. It is the progression of life.

You had so many friends. What is your philosophy on friendship?

Have women friends of all ages and walks of life. A clique becomes a bore.

Please share your secret about aging gracefully.

I exercise my mind.

What about skincare?

Use olive oil on your skin — never soap! I don’t believe in facelifts. Your lines show your life, your persona. The real you.

What makes a happy marriage?

I think you know the answer because you chose wisely. I love your ultimate concierge, and he is not my son-in-law. He is my second son.

Thank you, Mom! Shelly loved you too. But, tell me anyway.

Choosing a spouse is the most important decision you will make in your life. Make a list of what you need and stick to it. Once you got him, don’t lose him. Buy beautiful negligees and never say no in the bedroom!

My mother on loyalty:

Stand by your family and friends. Always take their side unless they disappoint you and prove you wrong.

Her thoughts on personal happiness:

Own your power. Be grateful and give back. Have a purpose. Be curious. Love deeply and laugh often.

What do you attribute your longevity to?

Sometimes I wish it was not so long! I suppose it is my love of laughter. And you! You keep telling me, “ Mom, I need you!”

I did not answer, and instead, I smiled, got up from my chair, wrapped my arms around this mother of mine, and whispered in her ear, “I do need you!” She looked up at me with her twinkling blue eyes, kissed me, and said, “ I need you more.” And she did. And I tried my best to be there for her.

The evening before she passed away, I was with her, and I knew she was struggling to stay with me. I leaned over her, kissed her lips gently, and with tears running down my cheeks, gave her permission to pass away peacefully.

The next evening at the same time, my mother closed her eyes for the last time.

She was and will always be my heart. I am my mother’s daughter.

A mother of substance

My mother was a woman of substance. She had the highest principles and standards. She led a fabulous life. Her only real disappointment was that she was born at the wrong time. If she were a young woman today, I have no doubt she would be the CEO of a company.

I can see her right now doing the daily newspaper’s crossword puzzle with her morning cup of coffee and croissant.  I recall my mom and dad driving from Kankakee by the Sea to Evanston to take courses at Northwestern University.

My mom was a fine golfer and a skier. When she broke her leg in a skiing accident, she hustled to learn how to knit gorgeous socks with sequins to cover her toes so she could continue dancing with my dad. She learned to needlepoint during her 6 months in a cast. Nothing stopped my mom from living and learning.

My mom had style. She understood that a woman’s beauty came from inner beauty.

Her outer style was simple elegance. Her inner style was captivating. Her blue eyes twinkled, her smile and laugh were captivating, her smell was always divine, her persona was powerful, and her intellect substantial.

My mom had the highest principles and standards. Her values were pristine. She taught me by her example. I could not have had a better teacher. I am grateful.

My mother, my friend, my teacher. I will miss you to my core. I will cherish your teachings and give you my word that I will continue to make you proud of me each and every day for the rest of my life. You have left me a legacy to celebrate, uphold and be proud of.

You are where you belong. You are surrounded by dad and our close family. Now you can rest in peace. God Bless you.


May 14, 2023

Passages After 50, Relationships

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  1. Barbara Almony says:

    This was a wonderful tribute to your mother. I don’t know that I have ever read a better one. It is so obvious that you adored your mother and had every reason to want to emulate her. From your words, I see her as a strong, self-confident woman, beautiful in all ways. Yes, you are lucky that she was your mother but you were wise to appreciate all the gifts she bestowed on you.

    • Susan Good says:

      Dear Barbara, You saw her right and yes I did appreciate all her gifts. Thank you for your words of wisdom. Warmly, Honey

  2. Gladys Haycraft says:

    Your mother was a beautiful and wise woman. Thank you for sharing her and yourself with us. I am so sorry for your great loss.

  3. Violet OBrien says:

    Dear Honey,
    May I offer my most sincere condolences on the loss of your Mom. Your tribute to her is beautiful and heartfelt. Bless you in the days ahead.

    • Susan Good says:

      Dear Violet, Thank you for your condolences, compliment and blessings. I could not ask for more. Warmly, Honey

  4. Teresa Jeschke says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Your beautifully expressed thoughts of your sweet Mom touched my soul. My Mom passed in 2018 and it is a painful loss for a daughter. But, each day the grief becomes more bearable and eventually you have learned how to live without her. You will never “get over it.” Instead, you have learned how to live with it. God bless you and your family.

    • Susan Good says:

      Dear Teresa, Thank you for your blessings and for sharing your feelings with me. God Bless you and your family, too. Warmly, Honey

  5. Lorette Lavine says:

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    My mother was my world and her mother was her world. They taught and gave me all that I needed to live a meaningful life. I owe so much to them as I try to pass all of it on to my own daughters.
    Your tribute to your Mom was so heartfelt and exquisite just like she was! much love Honey.

  6. Janice Gineris says:

    Susan, I am sending my deepest sympathy for your loss. I know you loved your mother dearly and the memories and lessons she bestowed upon you will forever be held close to your heart. Your mother taught you well. Rejoice knowing that she is once again joining your beloved father.
    Sending you a special hug,
    Janice G.

    • Susan Good says:

      Dear Janice, Thank you for sending me a special hug. I am sending you a special hug back. Thank you for your note and for taking your time to let me know you care. Sending you a special hug. xoSusan

  7. Kat says:

    A beautiful and touching tribute to your beautiful Mom. God Bless you and family!!

  8. Carolyn Baum says:

    Honey, my sincerest and deepest condolences are sent to you and your family. The loss of your beautiful mother is devastating. To have had her for so long and so close to you is a blessing beyond measure, as is the close relationship you shared. May you be comforted by your memories and your beautiful family and friends.

    • Susan Good says:

      Dear Carolyn, I am comforted by many happenings. I am comforted by your note. Thank you so much for your deepest condolences and taking your time to convey your warm feelings to me. Warmly, Honey

  9. Sandy says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, Honey. We are never prepared, no matter how old we are or they are. They are such an integral part of our lives.
    Thank you for sharing about your mother with us. What a treasure. I too, was blessed with a mother whom I treasure deeply. She taught me unconditional love and forgiveness. She is a role model to me this day.
    Praying for you and your family.
    Sandy Millner ( a Honey Good fan)

    • Susan Good says:

      Dear Sandy, Thank you for your prayers. Our mothers were our first teachers. Unconditional love and forgiveness are the keys to a happier life. Warmly, Honey

  10. Linda says:

    May her memory be eternal! We need strong women as role models, so we know how to live our lives. I will say that my mom taught many things, but only share the important ones. Love God with your whole heart. Love family dearly. It is good to have friends and to share what you have. Tidy up and do chores 1st thing in the morning, so you have the afternoons to read, see, paint or whatever you love. Finally to have a good work ethic and to find your place in the world. Memory eternal to my mom! ❤️❤️‍🩹❤️

    • Susan Good says:

      Dear Linda, Your mom was very special.A good teacher in so many ways.My mom was also. We were fortunate daughters. Thank you for writing to me. I am most appreciative. Warmly, Honey

  11. SoCal Allison says:

    So sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. May she live on in your memories as you go about your life. Blessings to you and your family!

  12. Meredith OLSON says:

    Honey, what beautiful words you wrote about your mother. I lost mine when she was only 75 and I miss her dearly. She taught how to cook, and entertain with style. We shopped together always and finding dresses at Saks when I was in college was the most fun. She was a woman’s woman. She had friends of all ages and backgrounds although her Jewish ones were her favorite. She loved my dad since they were 14. She showed me how to be a grandmother. There were never any negative things said about her. I think about her often and wish she were around to enjoy watching me be a grandma and to see her 4 great grandchildren. She continues to live on in her acts of kindness. She passed on the 2nd night of Hanukah which shows us even in darkness of winter, there is light.

    • Susan Good says:

      Dear Meredith, You were a lucky daughter. As I wrote, we carry out mothers values and teachings in our heads.That is the legacy we inherit and pass down. Warmly, Honey

  13. Joyce Tambini says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. My Mom passed away some time ago. The first few days are odd because It doesn’t seem right that the world keeps doing what it is doing when you lose your Mom. You want to make that phone call to her or you hear something or read something that she might be interested in and that it hits you. No, wait I can’t call her or let her know about such-and-such. It takes time, but it does get easier.

    • Susan Good says:

      Thank you for your words of knowledge. I am sure you are right. I have already reached for the phone. Warmly, Honey

  14. Janne Bradley says:

    Honey I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my beautiful strong loving mum 5 years ago and miss her to my core every day. She taught me to see the good in people, to love, not to worry about something that may not happen but if it does believe everything will turn out ok. To love learning, we were always trying new things together and boy we used to laugh. My mum was strong and she gave me her strength to live and try new things, to see new places and to love life.
    Honey it never stops hurting but in time the hurt softens a little, you have been in my thoughts and heart at this time and I am sending you my love at this time. Janne xx

    • Susan Good says:

      Our mom’s were our teachers, our girlfriends, our moral compass. We were very fortunate daughters. I am glad you are in my life. xoHoney

  15. Charlene Schneiter says:

    So beautifully said Honey! I lost my mother 20 years ago. I miss her every single day. She was my North Star. I am who I am because of my mother!

    • Susan Good says:

      Dear Charlene, Arn’t we all in some fashion our mother’s daughter. How special when we have a tight bond. Thank you for writing to me. The North Star is so stable in all her glory. Warmly, Honey

  16. Audrey A Piazza says:

    Dear Honey, I send you my deepest sympathy in the loss of your enchanting mother. How fortunate I’ve been over the years to see her smiling face and hear about her latest endeavor. Yes, she was simply a woman of substance and style., and, yes, you are your mother’s daughter, but you, Honey, are your own person. and whatever her legacy to you was, you acknowledged it by the way you treated her. For thirty-two years she lived only an elevator ride away. You showered her with your love and by doing that she knew how much you truly cared about her. Be proud of what you did. May she truly rest in peace.

  17. Dearest Honey,
    I’m so sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing.
    Her eyes and smile emulated everything she told you in her interview and you possess the same eyes and smile.
    G-d Bless you and your family.

    • Susan Good says:

      Thank you, Dori for your kind words. G-d bless you and your family. L’shanah Tova to you and your family for a sweet New Year. Warmly, Honey

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