A Tribute to the Most Beautiful Woman I Know – My Mother
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou
My mom, Karen, is living proof of just how special you can make others feel. When I think about my fondest childhood memories, there’s one common thread – my mom. From the time I was a young girl, my mother has shown me what it truly means to celebrate life – every day and on special occasions. My mother has always made our time together special, whether it’s simply through her loving spirit or through a celebration in her home.
Only after I became a mother, daughter, wife, and niece was I able to fully understand that her continued gifts over the years of entertaining others in her home were given with sheer love. This gift that couldn’t be bought or manufactured came from deep inside her heart and it’s a gift all her guests and family carry in their hearts. Thank you Mom for your tireless efforts to bring us all together to celebrate life – these times live on in my memory and heart and gave me a beautiful foundation for continuing the traditions and times you created for all of us.
I could easily fill a book writing about all the ways my mother inspires me, while citing examples of how special she is – we speculate that she just might be a saint! Although I didn’t write an entire book on her, I did devote pages in my book, "Plan to Party" (which I co-authored with Dawn Sandomeno), on how my mom exemplifies entertaining from the heart, what a meaningful way to generate more joy, love and laughter in a home.
Here’s an excerpt from "Plan to Party":
“My mother, Karen, taught me all the basics and a little more on everything I needed to know about cooking, baking, caring for and preparing a warm home, and, perhaps most importantly, how to make guests feel welcomed and loved. From extraordinary family gatherings on holidays and birthdays, to weekend parties with friends, to just celebrating being together, my mother has always worn a loving smile with eyes beaming –joyful that we were together and so happy to be able to treat us to a special gathering. Her genuine warmth touches all in her presence, and it is always an honor and true pleasure to be invited into her home.
I remember as a child how glamorous the Saturday night parties she’d host with my father, Richard, seemed to me and my brother, Rich. My mother spent the days preceding the party cooking, cleaning, setting the table just right, creating intricate appetizers and exquisite dishes, and baking desserts from scratch. On these special Saturday nights, my mother served us an early dinner and saw that we were bathed and in our pajamas before the guests arrived. These parties were adults only, and we needed no reminder to stay quiet and out of sight. I remember sitting at the top step of the stairs with my brother, listening as the guests arrived, imagining myself as host one day. Greetings were exchanged and mood music filled the air, as my father mixed cocktails and my mother served food and “warmed up” the crowd. I still treasure the memories of the sounds of those evenings, and even today I can almost hear the harmonious laughter from the guests downstairs – with my mother directing the chorus.”