On inspiration and family—and saying thank you... from Maxine
“I recently went to Miami to celebrate my mother's 90th birthday with her and her twin sister, Aunt Rosie. Congratulations to my mother, my aunt, and all the special ladies who were there to celebrate with us!
“I wrote a post in these pages three years ago, when I journeyed south to celebrate my mother's 87th birthday, and i wanted to repeat my words here as the sentiments are as true now as they were then—even though time has passed, these women are still as delightful as ever and I wanted to recall and reflect on what they were doing three years ago—and say how remarkable it is that nothing has really changed. They are all strong women and I hope it's in the genes.
“This holiday was especially significant as life is precious and nobody knows how long we will have to celebrate it and so I wanted to take the time to celebrate these inspirational women. Each has had her share of life's challenges. They have met them with grace and dignity, and come out stronger in the long run.
“Aunt Rose is like my second mother. She is an identical look-alike to my mother and has always shown unconditional love. As a child I always loved watching her and my late Uncle Norman together. They never passed each other without giving each other a kiss and words of romance that showed genuine feeling. To an impressionable child, it was a wonderful example of a loving, committed relationship... It had such an impact that I waited until I found my perfect match before tying the knot, so I could replicate the warmth and love in Aunt Rose and Uncle Norman's marriage. And I thank her for that forever—I am so grateful that I had such a wonderful example to follow.
“As for my incredibly strong mother, Edith, I have a hard time finding all the words to accompany the feelings I have for her and the example to my life as it formed. From the time I was 7 and a family breakup, my mother and I built a special bond and we've been a team ever since I can remember. I had a special childhood with the most unique, stylish and creative woman I have ever known, who set the bar for living elegantly, honestly, honorably and in one's own individual style very high. I was NEVER permitted to be a follower—my mother always encouraged me to dance to my own tune. If everyone was wearing the "in" trend of the month, I wasn't allowed to.
“Did I appreciate being the odd kid at school who had to be "individual"? At the tiome—NO, I did not...but, I sure do see that learning to express my own style gave me confidence. And for this lesson alone I am grateful. As an example of living on purpose I also have my mother to thank, as her discipline also helped me to be strong and disciplined. Again, I am grateful. Not only grateful to my mother for the good job she did in the difficult task of raising us alone, but ever so grateful to have the opportunity to tell her how special she is to me, and to let her know just how much I love, respect, and appreciate her.”
Photo—Maxine and Mom.