Everyone knows that mothers are the tireless superheroes, the knowledgeable teachers, the brave healers, the finest five-star chefs (Italian, in my case) and the patient nurturers. Really, what would we do without them? Mothers have the most challenging yet most rewarding job in the world, but a job that is sometimes taken for granted in the everyday hustle and bustle of life. As time passes, and we all walk to the beat of Father Time, each day shared with our mothers should be regarded as more precious than the last.
Mother’s Day in our house has always been special, more than other holidays, in fact, because it’s a day celebrating the heart of the family. This year, the holiday is even more endearing because we are honoring my Mom, Mary Lou, and my Mom’s mom, my 98 year old Grandmother, Lena. (see below for a photo of us). Having three generations living and buzzing around each other on a daily basis is something that I treasure in my soul. It’s a GIFT to have these strong, confident, genuine, loving and festive women in my world. Their presence and inspiration have been, and continue to be, instrumental in both my personal and professional lives.
The stationery business, The Papery, really started with my Grandmother. With her encouragement, her two sons opened the first Papery store in Greenwich, Connecticut, which then spread to many other locations on the East Coast. Carrying on the tradition, ten years ago my mother and I opened a Papery store in Marlton, New Jersey to great success.
In 2003, just three years later, I opened the Philadelphia store in the historic Old City District. My dear mother, Mary Lou, works with me at the store everyday and it’s a blessing to have her! The help and support, and neverending hysterical LAUGHS she provides, keeps me, as well as The Papery staff in good spirits no matter what’s going on in the fast-paced world of stationery! We love her carefree attitude, sense of humor, and sweet tone of innocence. She really does bring a sense of levity to our “home away from home” and it wouldn’t be the same without her.
The International Stationery Show takes place in New York City in just a couple of weeks and it’s been our traditional over the past ten years to make a Mother/Daughter event of it. We travel with our husbands to Manhattan a couple days prior to the show opening to enjoy new restaurants, Broadways shows and shopping excursions before getting down to business. After our fun-packed weekend, the “boys” leave and it’s just my mom and I for three nights together in the Big Apple. We LOVE the Stationery Show and get such fantastic inspiration from seeing all the artists and manufacturers’ new product lines. But the best moments are when we leave the show and just walk around the city with no plan in mind. We ALWAYS manage to come upon the most delicious little Italian restaurants (usually on the Upper East Side). My mom is always sure to start some type of flirtatious conversation with the adorable waiter with the charming accent. We have such a good time that we giggle together like girlfriends all the way back to the hotel.
Sadly, this year will be a bit different. My Mom will only be able to spend one night with me as her mother, Grandma Lena, is about to go into a nursing home. At 98 years of age, and despite being in wonderful physical condition, she’s been suffering from dementia and cannot live on her own anymore. Our entire family is heartbroken and has been struggling with the challenging decision. But, it’s not about us, it’s about what’s best for Lena.
So this Mother’s Day is all about appreciating MEMORIES, TREASURING the past and being HOPEFUL for a long future with our moms and grandmas by our sides.
We love you so very dearly. XO