A tribute to the women in my life
I loathe Mother’s Day. I dislike almost everything about it. I don’t like how it was glorified by Hallmark. I don’t like how most holidays in America are run by the big corporations. It seems like any company will use a festivity to exploit consumers. As I get older and mature and think more deeply, things change. This Mother’s Day, I can’t help but think of the four mothers in my life. My mother, Lisa, the mother of my child, Rae, and my grandmother’s Margi & Linda.
Lisa Schwartz Nelson— Mother of three — Psychotherapist
She was forty-three when her divorce was finalized. It left her as a single mom with a big mortgage payment. Three children with unique needs and a new life as a single women approaching her mid-forties. It’s easy to buy a card from CVS and flowers from a local flower shop. If you’re feeling extra lazy, you can even order flowers off the internet. These things are easy. Is raising three children while working full time and dealing with a new life as a single woman easy? No. My thoughts on Mother’s Day have changed. Sending flowers, a card, or a simple gift really makes a difference.
My mother worked part-time as a psychotherapist, while my father worked full time in marketing. He was the breadwinner and my mother was the primary caretaker. When the two divorced, my father still provided but my mother needed to work full time to make ends meet. Primary caretaker and full time worker. She worked from 10 in the morning until 10 at night four nights a week. That’s not easy with a 14, 11, and 6 year old. One boy and two girls. A 14 year old boy who was struggling with grades and was socially awkward. An 11 year old girl who had a hard time coping with her parents’ divorce. A 6 year old who was too young to really know what was going on.
It took strength and courage for my mother to raise the three of us. It’s women like her who give company’s like Hallmark the right to create something called Mother’s Day.
Rae Blanca — Mother of one — Hi-tech
She was twenty-two when she was pregnant with our daughter. She hadn’t even graduated from college yet. She still had four months to go and was focused on getting offered a contract from her current employer. Becoming a mother was the last thing on her mind. She doesn’t have family besides her sister. Rae does things on her own, the way she likes it. The mother of my child had a visible baby bump at her graduation. She beamed with pride in all of her photos that I took.
Rae came to Israel at 18. She was living on her own at 15. She is the most independent women I know. Probably the most courageous too. It took so much strength and determination to decide to keep our child. She has stepped up to the plate from day one and is an amazing mother. Jordan and I are lucky to have her.
Marguerite Weisberg — Mother of two- Psychotherapist
Margi came to America from The United Kingdom at the tender age of 18. Like the other women in my life, she displays nothing short of determination and grit. While she hates it when I refer to her as my “grandmother”, this now great grandmother has been nothing short of a fantastic grandmother. From sushi lunches to spoiling me with new MacBook Airs (like the one I’m currently writing on) to driving me around in her fancy cars.
She is the definition of success and truly has lived out the American dream. She came here with nothing and now has two daughters, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild. She loves to drink and knows how to have a good time, but knows when to separate business and play. Our whole family is lucky to have her.
Linda Lerner — Mother of three — Retired Banker/Business Owner
My grandmother Linda is the definition of tough. She takes no-nonsense and is a straight shooter. While in art school in her early twenties, she became ill and had to drop out to recapture her health. A few short years later, she was off the market and married with children.
When her husband, my late grandfather died before any of her grandchildren were born, it took strength to move forward. She took an inheritance and grew it to an even larger sum by making smart investments. As a young boy, I could always count on going on fancy vacations yearly because of her. While I didn’t grow up wealthy, she surely made me feel spoiled.