A Three Soda Salute

Today I celebrate warm memories of a mom.

And the life of a daughter.

It was on Mother’s Day 15 years ago that my late husband and I returned to the United States from Russia with our new 12 year old daughter, Nicole.

My mom couldn’t have dreamed of a better gift.

A language barrier didn’t slow at all the love and bonds that grew between the two.

Such soul mates they were, sharing passions for strong coffee, pickled herring, and the spiciest of shrimp gumbos.

They even shared the same May birthday.

Though Nicole’s teenage years were far from simple for any of us, I know how proud my mom would be of her granddaughter today.

Nicole’s a strong willed and loving woman, making her a remarkable mother.

She’s been an advocate for ensuring the best education and health possible for her three children in spite of some challenges.

I believe her grandma is looking down from above smiling wide at that.

And so is this mother as she sits across from her now.

So Nicole, your kids and I would like to offer up a three soda salute for all that you do and who you’ve become.

This one’s for you, kiddo!

Nicole arriving in the U.S. at age 12.

Mother’s Day: Starting a new tradition

I’ve always liked Mother’s Day as I believe Moms need at least one special day of appreciation a year. Apparently many others feel the same way.

While in high school I worked in a florist shop. Mother’s Day was by far the busiest holiday for us and also the day the customers were the happiest. Patiently lined up at the counter five deep, they would respectively take me up on any suggestions I’d offer.

Mother’s Day was a direct contrast to Valentine’s Day, when I’d hear the men complaining about the price of roses. And also every year in the hour before store closing, I’d be asked by stressed out male customers: “What do ya’ mean you’re out of the red ones!”

Mother’s Day commercials have been running all week on the radio. It feels weird this year not to be running to the store for a Mother’s Day present for Mom, as she passed away last August.

So I’ve been thinking instead I’ll pick up some chocolates and flowers for my daughter, and create a new tradition. She has three young kids, five and under. Her contributions to motherhood should also be recognized.

Mom would have loved that idea!