"God could not be everywhere so He created mothers"- Talmud
Every year I spend Mother's Day both working and celebrating at my restaurant Spago in Beverly Hills. Happily the restaurant is filled with mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters, women friends, aunts, cousins and all arrangements of male family and friends celebrating the women in their lives. I brought my extraordinary mom who has been valiantly battling lung cancer, my younger son Byron, (my elder son Cameron is away at college in the midst of his finals), my dear friend Eleanor who I introduced to my mom a few years ago, (at 84 they are both feisty, intelligent, creative,and sharply funny women). Eleanor recently experienced surgery for breast cancer, chemo for hairy cell leukemia, and a near fatal aortic tear, all in the same year. Also at the festivities was my longtime adorable beau John, my best male buddy David, (who is jokingly referred to by my mom as her son-in-law), and my brother Dan who celebrated his birthday today as well.
My weeks are always frenetic; as women we all often have far too much to do in a limited amount of time. I never seem to finish my to-do list, then again I no longer chastise myself, (well perhaps a bit), knowing when I compose one that there is often more on it than even womanly possible! The days prior to Mother's Day are especially frantic for me. I spend a great deal of time thinking of the OTHER mother's in my life. My friend Stacy also celebrates a May 9th birthday and is a mother of three, my friend Joyce is sadly extremely ill with cancer, as are two other friends. I spent Saturday traveling from home to home delivering food, gifts, company and support. I was exhausted, but it was actually the best gift I could have given myself! I could feel the love returned ten-fold and I knew that these moments would matter, to the friends, their families, and to ME...they would form memories I would cherish always. I spent the end of the evening, (until three a.m.), reading eighty book reviews so that I could place 20 books on my mom's new Kindle, she was thrilled with her gift of reading. This morning I cut roses from my garden and made arrangements for my mom and Eleanor which they could take home. I wrapped gifts for them and my brother, ( I have ribbon that I have printed with personal messages on it), and loaded the car with Byron and John's gentlemanly aid. There were wonderful chocolates for all the guests at my table and more for the ladies at the restaurant who work so hard on Mother's Day; my dear friend Hasty of Madame Chocolate made such delicious treats.
Today the restaurant was humming from early on. I saw so many friends, and met so many new ones; I signed a great many Wishes For A Mother's Heart books, kissed a lot of women, hugged some others, and sat with one women who was crying in the ladies room. She was extremely upset by something her husband had said. Two of her five daughters were in the laides room with her. I waited for bit, wiped down the counter, (I designed the restaurant, and I like it to look good, but I was also quietly listening). Nothing the girls seem to say was soothing their mom. I took a chance an sat down next to her on one of the five or so chairs we line up in the room. I took her hand and said, "We seem to be about the same age, I'm sure we have a lot in common. Your daughters obviously love you very much, (I found out later there were three more at the table outside); you're are such a beautiful woman, you have healthy girls, you seem, and I hope are, well yourself. This is YOUR day, nothing anyone says to you can affect you if YOU decide to not allow it in. If you decide to be happy and savor this day and the people who love you and care about you you will be happy, you will feel blessed, you will be able to let the toxic people and situations fall away from you. I could tell the daughters were initially surprised that a "stranger" would intervene, and it could have gone all wrong, even with the best of intentions; but intuitively I knew it would go well, I was speaking from a genuine place, and when we truly extend ourselves with kindness and care, the warmth will almost always be understood and received.