The Gifts My Mother Gave Me

It’s Saturday, May 10th. I awakened with a bittersweet reminder that today would have been my mother’s 91st birthday, and tomorrow is Mother’s Day.

Today, I am celebrating Sylvia Feldman Newman’s birthday, Mother’s Day and the “Gifts My Mother Gave Me.” I am blessed that I do not have to search; I only have to sort my memories, to write about my mother!

My dearest friend’s mother always said, “God does not take away, God gives. I was given a lifetime of love. However, I always told my mother she was a “gift of love.” She offered her devotion with such overwhelming generosity “from the bottom of my heart!”

I have copious descriptions for my mother. The most significant are: generous, fair, disciplined, trustworthy, beautiful, bright, loving and an “Elegant Lady.” Not only did she resemble Claudette Colbert, the 1940’s movie star, she radiated beauty from within. She lived her life with style and grace. From dressing to perfection, with a unique flair that complimented her beautiful red hair and her gorgeous complexion; to artfully arranging a bouquet of flowers from her garden and “working the booth” at a sales/business meeting with my father. She was a wise and patient listener. In fact, my friends would come to our house to talk with Mother, because their mothers “just doesn’t understand me, but yours mother does.”

Mother also was tenacious and family togetherness was paramount to her. Soon after my parents were married, a doctor to her she would never have children. Nevertheless, she was determined to prove the doctor wrong, and she did. As the “Queen of Propriety,” she would recount my conception and tell me, “You were a gift, not just a biological urge!” ;-D

Mother’s outward appearance was that of a delicate porcelain doll. However, inwardly she was mighty… a strong willed warrior for what she believed in. She was a courageous and admirable woman, a “Woman of Valor” and a woman of her word!

Anyone who was acquainted with Mother, knew they could depend on her for absolute trust and support, logical advise, and knowing the correct way to do whatever needed to be done, especially using proper table manners. Just ask her grandchildren!

The Lilly of the Valley was Mother’s favorite flower. It symbolizes the return of happiness and friendship. Mother was a friend to everyone she met. We couldn’t walk, dine or shop anywhere, without Mother knowing someone, or her knowing who they were related to. She was a walking “Who’s Who of Chicagoland!”

I smile thinking about the surprise “Love Gifts” I received. Something Mother saw, that she thought I would like, not because it was a special occasion, just because she thought I was special. The little gift enclosure cards that were signed with a “?” or “Guess Who?” never failed to make me laugh.

Knowing my mother adored me gave me a life long sense of security and confidence. I was never too big or old for a hug and a kiss. She was never too busy to tell me or show me how much she loved me. Our phone conversation or good-bye’s never were without an “I love you” or a “Be careful!” I chuckle, thinking how Mother and I jokingly argued about, who loved the other one more.

As a businesswoman, my mother was intelligent, creative and perceptive! She helped my father build Lab-Line Instruments into a successful international business. She also was my business partner. We brainstormed workshop ideas together, she efficiently proofread my hand-outs, documents and manuscripts and enthusiastically promoted my book and me.  In 1999, when she was 82 years old, she decided to become “a woman of the 21st century.” She bought a laptop computer, took “techy” lessons and enjoyed sending and receiving emails. 

Today, I gave myself a “Love Gift!” I’m celebrating my mother and the gifts she gave, with Lily of the Valley and tulip bouquets from my garden on my desk, writing this post and sharing my mother’s favorite Birthday Gift story…  I was five years old, too young to go shopping by myself. Instead, I used my “little girl” gardening
sheers to cut all the newly blossomed tulips off just below their heads. I left several dozen headless soldiers standing at attention in the mulch. I placed my treasures in a basket and brought them to my mother.
At first, she was horrified. However, her irritation melted when I offered her the basket and exclaimed,

“Happy Birthday, Mommy. I love you!”

The “Gifts My Mother Gave Me” are bountiful blessings
that live in my heart and resonate in my memory! 

What are the gifts your mother gave you?

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Sheila Glazov ~ Author ~ Speaker ~ Educator
Please, visit my website to learn more about your Brain Colors, my books and workshops.

Lily of the valley flickr credit
Tulip heads flickr credit

Turbo Tagger

Please Spread the Word



  1. Sheila Follower on May 10, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    What a wonderful, loving, touching memorial to both Sylvia and mothers everywhere! Your vivid description was a catalyst in bringing to consciousness my own wonderful memories of my Sweet Aunt Sylvia–one was when I had a short visit with her in 1983 where she was trying to fix me up with a blind-date in order to perpetuate the Newman name/species. I don’t think the young lady had any intention of dating someone from Oklahoma.
    We Love Aunt Syliva too!

  2. Mother Earth on May 10, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    I remember getting yelled at for snipping tulips heads off, you have it seem so innocent and loving, which in a childs world it is

    I of course will never know your mom, but you really bring her alive when you write or speak of her

    sending you loving wishes for a tremendous weekend

  3. Sheila Glazov Author Speaker on May 18, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    I’m thrilled that my post was a catalyst for your memories about “Aunt Sylvia.” I think Audree was a far superior choice than my mother’s!!   Yes, I know my ‘Okie Cousins” loved my mother and she loved all of you “with all her heart!”

  4. Sheila Glazov Author Speaker on May 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing your tulip story. Sorry, you were punished. I wish you had know my mother. However, I’m thrilled that my writing has brought her to life for you. Thank you for your loving friendship!

  5. Mari on May 21, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to your mother, Sheila, for Mother’s Day and always. My favorite: “I chuckle, thinking how Mother and I jokingly argued about, who loved the other one more.” Although I did not know your mother, the sweet scent of lily of the valley will now remind me of you both, especially the “life long sense of security and confidence” that she gave you. The world would be remarkably better if all mothers truly understood their power.

  6. Sheila Glazov Author Speaker on May 23, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Mari, “Thank You!” for your heart felt comments. I’m thrilled that my words captured the essence of my mother and that you will think of us, as I do, whenever you enjoy the sweet lily of the valley fragrance.  Yes, I agree “the world would be remarkably better ” and I feel healthier and safer if all mothers and women understood the powerful impact they have on others, especially the children in our lives.   

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.