Today I would like to give thanks for my mother’s wisdom (this is one of the first things I wrote about on Honey Good!) Now, more than ever, I am so grateful for her sound advice. On September 18, 2022 my mother passed away. On the eve of Rosh Hashanah I became an orphan. A somewhat fortunate orphan because I had my mother for so many years. An unfortunate orphan because I became motherless.
The age a daughter loses her mother is never pleasant because of the unbreakable cord between a mother and daughter. I find relief even though my mom can no longer hold my hand, wrap her arms around me or kiss my cheek … I am my mother’s daughter. My mother is always with me, as is her mother’s wisdom.
I catch myself emulating her mannerisms, her speech, her thoughts, her laugh, her dignity, and her ability until September 18th to challenge herself to learn and to live. She is with me because I am, in large part, her reflection. She was a forceful but lovely teacher. I was in tune even with her lectures!
Today, with deep respect and admiration I dedicate my sincere and loving musing, to her. I love you, mom.
I Am Grateful For My Mother’s Wisdom
Days before I put my fingers on the keyboard, I begin searching my mind, for an eventful experience that has had a profound, loving or funny impact on my life. Today, I’m going to tell a story that took place a few years ago which also relates to another conversation with my mother regarding her insights and wisdom.
The mother-daughter relationship is complicated. Most have hills and valleys. My relationship with my mother was no different. My mother was very strong and controlling and I was not a meek, shrinking violet by any stretch of the imagination. That is not to say I was disrespectful. I honored my parents. It’s just that I had my vision of who I was. My mother, on the other hand, had her vision of who I should be.
“Through all our high hills of laughter and excitement and our potholes where we sunk into silence, our mother–daughter bond was unbreakable.” — Honey Good
As I matured into adulthood, I was sure I was not a clone of my mother. I was my own woman. As it turns out, at my mother’s 90th birthday party luncheon, with 50 women in attendance including friends, granddaughters, nieces and a daughter-in law, I came to realize that I was my mother’s daughter!
We sat at one long table upstairs in a private dining room at Gibson’s Restaurant — my mother and brother at one end and my husband, Shelly, and I at the other. I glanced at the setting and I could not make up my mind what was more beautiful: the gorgeous flowers down the length of the entire table or my mother’s friends from ages 88 to 96! As lunch progressed with an abundance of laughter and chatter permeating the room, I decided to stand up and ask each of the women and, of course her devoted son-in-law and son, to tell a story — a memory of my mother.
Memories of My Mother
I sat listening intensely as her girlfriends and family members told stories about my mother. Her capabilities, ambitions, love of family and joy of life unfolded before my eyes and then it was my turn. I was the last to speak. As I toasted my mother with a glass of champagne in hand, I stood up and said, “I am my mother’s daughter.”
My mother stood up and said, as she toasted me back, “That is the nicest compliment I have ever received!” My eyes flooded with tears of joy and I felt such deep love and respect for “this mother of mine.” I remember saying a little prayer to myself, “God, bless my darling mother and keep her safe and in good health.”
Until 101, mom lived life to the fullest until, and had weathered a lot in her last years. She suffered a broken hip and wrist, pneumonia, two severe bladder infections(one requiring hospitalization) and almost choked to death! It’s a miracle she lived! But alive she stayed for a while and God granted my prayer to keep her with me.
Once we sat chatting together in her apartment and I asked her if she would mind sharing her thoughts with me on womanly topics. If she would share her mother’s wisdom.
I said to her, “Mom, you are a sage, dripping with advice. Would you share your wisdom with the women reading Honey Good?”
“This will be fun. I would love to,” said my mom.
My Mother’s Best Advice
I asked her questions on several topics and jotted notes as she spoke and gave me her best advice. Here are my mother’s replies to my questions:
“Mom, give me your advice on what gives a woman her style.”
The basis of style is the understanding of not only who you are but the kind of woman you want to represent. It is a combination of many things. It is your look that sets you apart from everyone else. It is your taste in books, in female friends, in your home and your joie de vivre. As you get older, dear daughter of mine, don’t be afraid; move with grace and expose your wisdom. After all think of the alternative!
“What about gossip among women, mom?”
If you tell one woman, it is no longer a secret! (She said that with a twinkle in her beautiful blue eyes.)
“Mom, what if you know people are talking about you.”
That’s an easy one. If people are talking about you, you know you are not boring!
“Mom, sometimes our children disappoint us. How do we deal?”
This is an old saying, but a true saying: One mother can take care of ten children. Ten children cannot take care of one mother. You give your children their roots and then their wings. It is the progression of life.
“Mom, what is your philosophy on friendship?”
Have women friends from all walks of life. A clique becomes a bore. Don’t expect from most and you will not be disappointed.
“Mom, tell me your secret on aging beautifully.”
I exercise my mind, not my body!
I’m Lucky My Mother Loved to Share Her Sage Advice!
“What about skin care, mom?”
Use olive oil on your skin. Stop with the facelifts. You cannot hide age. Your lines show your life, your persona. Smile!
“You and dad had a wonderful marriage. What do you attribute this to?”
You know what I told you when you were to become a bride — a woman makes a marriage. Those five words are worth their weight in gold, in more ways than one!
“Mom what do you attribute to your longevity?”
Sometimes I wish it was not so long! I suppose it may be my lack of fear and my love of laughter — and you! You keep telling me, “Mom, I need you!’
I did not answer. Instead I smiled and got out of my chair, wrapped my arms around “this mother of mine” and whispered in her ear, “I do need you.” She looked at me with her twinkling blue eyes, gave me a kiss and said, “I need you more.” We shared a smile.
I wanted to end the conversation on an upbeat note, so I said, “Mom, in another year you will be 95! I am going to give you another beautiful luncheon. This time I am going to add to the list all of my girlfriends who know and truly revere you! It will be a great day. You will be the Queen Bee! Together we will write your life message you can share with all at your table. You will speak your thoughts and everyone will leave your 95th birthday party feeling marvelous and the buzz will be out in the city that you are one grande dame!”
I Love My Mother Unconditionally and Brought Her Wisdom to My Own House
I am proud to know that I have embodied all that she has taught me. It is my hope that I have brought her wisdom to my own life and my own home. Through all our high hills of laughter and excitement and our potholes where we sunk into silence, our mother–daughter bond was unbreakable. The chemistry between she and I was fierce, and no matter how angry I was with her, there was never a time I did not pick up the phone and say, “Please let’s not argue. I am sorry this is happening to us.” The reason being she was and still is the most important woman in my life. I loved her and respected her unconditionally.
A Letter to My Mother — Every Day Was Mother’s Day Because Every Day I Cherished You
You were born Elaine Barbara Lang on April 14, 1921, under the sign, Aries, the ram. The zodiac sign was an indication of what was to come. You were strong willed, beautiful, popular and bright, graduating from high school at the age of 16. If you were a young woman today, I dare say the Huffington Post would have a different name — The Elaine Post.
Your only bad luck was being born at the wrong time, but that did not stop you from leading a “fabulous” life. You did everything well, not because you were a perfectionist but because you had a tenacity and true grit. You loved life and were eager to explore all facets. I watched you play scrabble, do the daily newspaper crossword, needlepoint, knit and crochet. You learned to play golf and ski and loved to travel. You played bridge, canasta, and mahjong. You were the most devoted wife and last, but not least, you had and still have an impeccable sense of style and a wonderful sense of humor. You are and were my movie star mother.
My Rolodex twirling mind stops on a fitting memory. I remember the day I interviewed you for a story I wrote about the lessons mothers leave their daughters – mother’s wisdom.
My Mother’s Advice Summed Up
Print this out darlings, these are words to live by!
- CONFIDENCE: If people talk about you, you know you are interesting.
- STYLE: A woman’s style is a combination of many things, but 80% is her inner style. That is what makes her beautiful.
- SECRETS: A secret is a secret until you tell someone.
- CHILDREN: Remember, darling, these two wise quotes: “One mother can take care of 10 children, but 10 children cannot take care of one mother.” “You give your children their roots and then their wings.”
- GIRLFRIENDS: Choose friends who have your values, but different interests so you can grow.
- SKINCARE: Never use soap on your skin.
- CONVERSATION: Talk less and listen more.
- AGING GRACEFULLY: Exercise your mind, darling.
- SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE: A woman makes a marriage.
- HEALTH: Be proactive. It will save your life.
- CHOOSING A SPOUSE: Make a list of what you need in a spouse. Stick to it because the most important decision you make in your life is who you choose to marry.
- LIVING A HAPPY LIFE: Live in the present. It is a gift.
- PERSONAL HAPPINESS: Own your self-respect. Have a purpose. Love much and laugh often.