As I think about my successes in life, being a mother ranks higher than any of my other careers, financial accomplishments or life experiences. The gratitude and love I have for my two wonderful children — my daughter A and son D — and the legacy that I (and my late husband M) have created with them are my greatest achievements for sure.
The retirement speech from daughter A moved me to tears along with a few laughs too. I hope you enjoy her remarks.
My Retirement Speech from Daughter A
“Most of the time when a young girl is asked what she wants to be when she grows up, the answers are usually a ballerina, a princess, an actress or a singer. But as far back as I can remember, I have always said that when I grow up I am going to be just like my mom.
I wanted to live in New York City and be a businesswoman. I also wanted to do all of this, get married, have kids and raise a family all at the same time. So I guess, you could say, that growing up I wanted to be a superhero – but more specifically, superwoman. My mom has many powers, to say the least.
My mom is smart
She is the smartest and most knowledgeable person I know. She graduated from high school a year early and was second in her class. She also reads The New York Times every morning – and not just for the current events, but also because it connects her to her roots in New York City, a city that she grew up in and if given the choice, probably would have never left and during her life after 50 may even move back to.
She always seems to know what is going on at any given company, what’s new, what’s hip and what’s innovative. She always likes to instill this knowledge to her children – like that time my brother needed a summer internship and my mom made him email the founders of this chocolate company that she saw in the newspaper. My brother D ended up getting a job with the chocolate company and working there that summer.
For those of you who know me, I have extremely high aspirations of running a company one day – on a monthly basis my mom sends me CFO magazine, which usually includes Post-it notes with the people she thinks I should email and connect with to help me make that goal a reality.
My mom is strong
My mom is the strongest and bravest person I know. Not many people lose their spouse and have to start their life over at the age of 50, but she did and she did it with grace, never missing a beat – throwing herself into her writing and her blog and focusing on keeping life as normal as possible for my brother and me.
My mom is a risk taker
She is also a risk taker; sometimes when people go through traumatic events in their lives, they take an extravagant vacation or buy a fancy sports car – my mom bought a house. I remember when she told me she bought that beach house at the Jersey Shore. In the beginning, I actually thought she was a little crazy because growing up we never really went to the beach, my dad was not really a beach person. But then I saw how happy and relaxed she was down at the shore, and suddenly the idea didn’t seem as crazy to me anymore. My mom took a risk on that house and in the end that risk turned into a great reward.
My mom likes fashion
My mom is a fashionista. In case you haven’t noticed, my mom accessorizes very well. Very rarely will you find her without her signature item – her scarf. If you saw her closet, you’d see that she has one in every color and every pattern. I tried to count them once but eventually lost track. My mom also loves to shop. If you asked her what her favorite time of year is, I’m pretty sure she’d say July and not because it’s summer, but because it’s the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.
My mom and I have a ritual – I usually take off from work and come home, and we do our biggest shopping trip of the year together – sometimes we even invite my brother D. I think we broke a record one year – our shopping trip at Nordstrom lasted eight hours. You may think this is a joke, but I’m not even exaggerating. When mom and I are together – there is no stopping us.
My mom’s love of shopping has definitely been passed on to me. A few summers ago my boyfriend and I had just broken up so to make me feel better my mom took me shopping. On our way out of the mall, we walked by the Louis Vuitton store. We decided to go in. I proceeded to try on bags and was on the verge of buying one when I said “Mom, be honest here – am I crazy?” Her response, the PG version, was “Screw it. You only live once.”
And so I bought that handbag and these are now words that I live by. Anytime I am indecisive about buying anything I think of what my mom said and I say “Screw it. I only live once.” Suffice it to say that I have a lot of clothes and a VERY extensive shoe collection.
My mom inspires me professionally and personally
My brother and I have learned a lot from our mom in both our professional and personal lives. She has inspired us to be career driven, to always go after what we want no matter how unattainable and that no obstacle is too great to overcome. She has taught us to dress the part, because eventually, if we are going to run companies, we have to look good doing it. And most importantly, she has taught us that life doesn’t always go as planned. We must take chances and risks, embrace new opportunities with enthusiasm, even if we have doubt, and if we believe in ourselves, we can make any dreams of ours become a reality.
What do you think of my retirement speech from daughter A? Didn’t she do a good job? How has your mom inspired your success? Share your thoughts.
Celebrate your mom and have a happy Mother’s Day!