In honor of Mother’s Day, community members shared favorite memories of their mom, what they enjoy most about motherhood and what they love about their mom.
Annie and Sarah Hill
Our mom, Joan Hill, is impossible to sum up in a few words or one memory. She’s ambitious, one of the first women to get an MBA at Ohio State. She’s passionate, getting involved in education and political causes close to her heart. She’s got a discerning eye, as anyone who has ever been shopping with her can tell you.
Ultimately, she is the heart of our family and puts fun and togetherness at the center of everything she does. While our family is often apart, be it for school or work, she ensures every moment together is one we’ll forever remember.
Last year, just before the pandemic struck, our family got together in New York, for the greatest few days—she organized tickets for the Westminster Dog Show, where we were able to watch the magic unfold and meet the “stars” of the show. Among the best was the Old English Sheepdog, her favorite breed—she lived with two of the massive dogs, by herself, in a New York studio apartment before she moved to Pacific Palisades.
During the past year of uncertainty and prolonged separation, with our family spread across three continents, it’s these memories that mean far more than anyone would have thought at the time.
Every year around the New Year my mom makes all kind of sweets, and I remember me and my cousins used to help my mom and grandma in the kitchen. It was a day of laughter and fun for all of us. My mom, Nesa Vahdani, continued this tradition now with my daughter and niece and nephews. She is always dapper and courteous toward everybody.
My favorite thing about motherhood is the unconditional love that I feel about my daughter. On Mother’s Day, my husband always gets up early in the morning and buys flower from the farmers market and makes a delicious breakfast with my daughter Bita for my mom and me.
Being a mother has been the most incredible journey of a lifetime. Watching my children grow and develop into responsible, caring and productive adults has been very gratifying. Giving them roots and wings really is what it’s all about.
In the 1970s, when my brother John and I were little kids, my mom, Carole Kenney, would walk us around our neighborhood—the El Medio Bluffs—collecting seed pods that had fallen from the trees. We’d go home and do all sorts of crafts with them. (I still have a necklace!)
Then around 2007, she started walking my two kids around the same neighborhood, collecting seed pods from the same trees. Today, if you look around the Palisades, many of the trees you see were planted by my mom (along with the group Palisades Beautiful)—throughout the El Medio Bluffs and along Sunset between town and Chautauqua.
My mom died in 2017. I feel so fortunate to live here—for many reasons, and at the top of the list is that every day I’m surrounded by her trees.
Cerisa Ignacio Moncayo
My favorite thing about my mom, Carmen Ignacio, was her fearlessness. It made her seize opportunities, explore the world, shatter the glass ceiling, express herself freely (that may have gotten her in trouble a time or two), live without regrets, love immensely, among so many other things.
What also comes to mind was her organization and planning skills. She was hospitalized November 10, 2020, with COVID and was in the ICU for a month before passing away (two weeks before Christmas). Somehow, she was the only one who had all her Christmas shopping done … and had everything even wrapped and labeled/tagged. We laugh and cry about that, as she was *always* ultra-prepared. I miss her with my whole being.
My mom, Zisi Cunin, is my hero. She is the mom to me and my 10 siblings and Bubby (grandma) to my two children and my nephew, thank G-d!
I don’t know how she does it. I always knew my mom was a super woman but when I had my own children I gained an even greater respect for her.
In addition to raising all of us children and running a beautiful home, she is the co-director at the Chabad Jewish Community Center, mentor and friend to so many. Somehow she does it all.
My favorite thing about motherhood is spending quality time with my children, 2 months and 22 months, and cherishing every moment I have with them (even the challenging moments). I feel truly blessed to learn and grow with them.
I chose to launch my company, Tessa James, on Mother’s Day a few years ago to honor my mother, Elvira Growdon. She inspired me in all ways—her vivacity, taste, inner strength, intellect, and devotion to family and friends. With my collection for little girls, I sought to capture her ineffable sparkle and celebrate the values that connect us all through the generations. I am so grateful she knew my daughter, Tessa, for two precious years, who is very much her doppelgänger. She truly lives on.
Sara G. Marti
My mom, Paige Greene, has been the only constant part of my life! We’ve been to dark places, climbed to high heights and seen the most beautiful things together. She is my world and I am hers (especially since I gave her grandchildren and a great son-in-law … they might be her new favorites).
My mom, Carly Friedberg, has two current Pali High students (and me as a Pali High alumni), and she is so incredibly involved with the school. She is the first to sign up for any parent volunteer position and is especially involved with Pali VAPA.
I was the captain of the Pali dance team, my brother is in every Pali theater production and my youngest brother is involved with Pali’s music program. She has given so much to Pali, and is always eager and willing to help every single student and treats them like they’re her own.
She also is an amazing speech pathologist and sees young clients all across Los Angeles. She works 40 hours a week and spends the remainder of her time caring for her kids and husband.
She is the most hardworking and selfless person I’ve ever known, and has made herself a staple of the Palisades community. She deserves to be recognized today and every day!
For years, I dreaded Mother’s Day, and the weeks leading up to it played havoc on my heart. It was only when I became a mother that I learned to embrace and fall in love with Mother’s Day again.
Social media, TV, newspapers and stores filled with Mother’s Day gifts and cards, there is no mistaking that Mother’s Day is upon us. It probably feels innocuous to many, if not completely annoying. I know it was for me—until my mom died from cancer several years ago. Mother’s Day changed forever.
My first motherless Mother’s Day came just a few short months after losing my mom, and I wasn’t ready for it in any way. I was in so much pain and still grieving. I wasn’t sure this feeling would ever lessen, it felt impossible to wrap my head around getting through my day-to-day life without my mom.
It turns out my lifeline came from my daughter. Before the big day, I told my family that I don’t want to celebrate. I just wanted to be left alone, pull the covers over my head and stay in bed.
On Mother’s Day, two of my boys came into my bedroom; one made me the most beautifully decorated breakfast in bed: pancakes and fruit, complete with a flower and handmade card. My youngest son presented me with a beautiful handmade frame with his picture. My sweet husband came in with a huge bouquet of flowers and a beautiful and heartfelt card. My daughter came in last; she was carrying flowers and a huge bouquet of balloons; I LOVE YOU MOM!
My daughter leaned over and reminded me what I said at my mom’s funeral, “The lucky ones get to walk around and say, ‘My mom is the best.’ But my mom really was the best.” She would hate that any of her children were in pain. Then, she added, “Mom, my brothers and I have the best mom, and we want to celebrate you! So, I know you may be sad that your mom is not here, but we are here, and we want to celebrate our mom.”
A warmth came over my heart, a tear rolled over my cheek; today, Mother’s Day is about my children and their mom. I am the luckiest mom to have my amazing children and my beautiful family.
My mom, Maggie Shin, is a daredevil like me and we both love doing adrenaline-pumping activities. We swam with whale sharks, we did tandem paragliding, we jumped off a 40-foot waterfall and we love roller coasters!
Happy Mother’s Day, Mama, and looking forward to many more thrilling adventures with you! I love you.
While I could write a 1,000-page essay on why I love my mom, I can also reduce it to one word: selflessness. Perhaps I appreciate this quality because it’s the most subtle.
In simple terms, my mother is always there for me, both physically and emotionally. After stressful and arduous days, she stands by my side, kindness guiding each response and every move. I never need to ask for her advice or generosity, either; it is simply a natural reflex. In fact it seems as though my mother’s only interest is to act in my best interest.
In short, I am extremely lucky and grateful to have such a loving and attentive mother.
My favorite thing about my mom, Jessica Masterson, is how generous and affectionate she is. She always focuses on the little things and does everything to the best of her ability. I love the warm hugs and kind words she always offers when I need them most. I love you, Mom.
My favorite thing about motherhood is the notion that this labor of love helps craft the future. Watching my kids grow from children to the budding young adults they are, and recognizing that they are thoughtful people who are vested in shaping a positive future and thoughtful about the world around them, is heartwarming. I also love making them dinner and having them eat it.
Mother’s Day for us is precious because my mother and father live very close to us and this celebration is very much an ode to my mom each year. This was a woman who lived in Tehran, Paris, Brussels and London before she was 20—and practically did it all over again when she was 40 and fleeing a revolution with kids in tow, bound for the States.
She was a trailblazer in her own land and a tireless entrepreneur even after she adopted a new homeland. Between all the challenges, she still taught us unfailing integrity and uncompromised dignity, which she possessed by instinct.
I have been lucky to be the daughter of this mother, and I hope I am passing even half of that bounty to my daughter and two sons—for that reason, it’s usually an elaborate but earthy brunch at our house with all our family invited.
This Mother’s Day I’ll be at the restaurant, CinqueTerre WEST Osteria, working, helping others celebrate their moms. I’ll be there bright and early into the late afternoon. Then I’ll get to enjoy the evening celebrating Mother’s Day with my family.
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