Written in Memory of Mom

Every morning when I eat breakfast, I look at a favorite watercolor rendering of sunflowers on the wall, across from where I sit. It was painted by my Mom. She was gifted. She loved flowers, she loved art, and she loved to create…

When we were kids and took family vacations, one of my favorite memories was when Mom would lead my sister, Sandy, and I in search of wildflowers. We would thumb through her field guide to identify the plant by its common name. Then we would place a sample of the flower inside the book to press it flat and save it. We would find Indian Paintbrush, Monkshood, Butter and Eggs, Queen Anne’s Lace and Black-Eyed Susan. We were enchanted by the names of the flowers, their striking colors and their amazing shapes. After the flowers dried inside the field guide, we would make wildflower art by arranging the flattened flowers on a piece of paper and glue them into place.

Another wonderful memory was traveling the south coast of France with Mom. Just the two of us. I had been studying in Paris, and she flew over after I completed my studies. Our adventure began in her hotel room in Paris. We poured through her travel guides, while we drank wine, nibbled on cheese and apples, and scattered baguette crumbs all over her bedspread. We made our plans, deciding which towns, which museums and which hotels, and we and planned a Eurail trip that would take us from Paris to Avignon, Carcassone and Marseilles. This was Mom’s first trip abroad, ever. The first of many trips, as she began traveling the world with Dad, shortly after this. She loved experiencing new cultures…

When Mom and Dad built their dream house in Florida, Mom dedicated one room to serve as her office and art studio. She spent many happy hours there, playing with her brushes and acrylic paints. She found inspiration from her travels, books and museums, and she loved playing with color to create all different kinds of landscapes. When I was visiting, she would invite me to view a work-in-process with a critical eye, and would welcome suggestions. She painted pictures for her own homes, and sometimes she painted for family and friends… which brings me back to the Sunflower painting on the wall. Thank you, Mom for the many, many ways through which you enriched our lives!

My mother, Elinor Nadherny, passed away last November at the age of 92. I continue to be blessed by her love and influence.

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