I think most daughters would say their moms were influential if not the most influential people in their lives. They give everything they have to give you the best they can offer and then some. Its interesting being a mother now of two soon to be four young children and think about what she, my mom, must have been feeling and thinking taking care of my two brothers and I. I think the older I get the more I want to do things the way she did them and you appreciate the sacrifices, which at the time you didn’t know they were sacrifices, that she made.
She battled cancer beginning when I was in high school. That first experience with cancer really charged her to try new things. She decided to enroll with her sister in NYU’s Appraisal Studies in Fine and Decorative Arts over the summer after her recovery. I loved hearing their stories of two ‘Southern Ladies’ living in dorms in the West Village. I don’t think their professors or classmates knew just what to expect from them but I think they were probably pleasantly surprised. Mom made the most of that experience and this launched her to do appraisal and personal antique and fine art shopping back in Alabama. I loved traveling to auctions with her and driving to frequent business shopping trips to Atlanta. We made some memories driving filled Uhauls for hours back home in the dark after auctions.
Mom was the reason that I headed to New York City after graduating college. She knew that experience would be good for me just like it had been for her. I moved up at the end of August in 2001 without a job and just 2 weeks before 9/11. By the true grace of God, I found a job working for a medium size architecture office in Chelsea and most significantly sat next to my future husband. That was a great job; working for a boss that really let me so be involved especially with clients even though I had little experience. Working for Bunny Williams was truly an opportunity of a lifetime as well and it was so fun talking to Mom at the end of a day and telling her some of the amazing things I had experienced. When I got engaged she flew up to New York to help me find my wedding dress. We made a full day of it, first browsing at Bergdorf Goodman, then Saks and then hopping on a subway headed to Queens where we found THE dress at Kleinfeld. She flew up to visit me many times and we always had a lot of fun. One visit her best friend came along and we drove around Connecticut antiquing and enjoying the sites of another beautiful part of the country.
Of course when Jim and I decided to take an opportunity and move to Asia there were mixed emotions but Mom and Dad always supported us. They came to visit us after we had been there maybe a year and we had a trip of a lifetime through China, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Just like in New York, mom and I would spend hours chatting on Skype and I would tell her about our recent trips and finds. She was my biggest fan.
When our second daughter was born I named her after mom, Mary. Its amazing how God works. That little girl looks just like mom and she is so funny and on the days that I miss Mom, which is everyday, I have my own little Mary to make me smile.
I’ve had it in my mind to try and put together a tribute to Mom but its an impossible task, how can you sum her up in words, you can’t but everyone should know that I had an amazing mom. She was beautiful, a talented interior designer ( even though she would never call herself that), the best listener and cheerleader, not selfish, gentle and fiery, thoughtful of others, the most gracious hostess, a loving wife, an amazing flower arranger, a wonderful grandmother and the best mom I could have ever asked for.