January 15, 1925-June 17, 2012
She was proud to have shared the same birthdate as Martin Luther King Jr. and would have enjoyed knowing that she left the same day Rodney King passed. Social activism and martyrs were high on her list as were the Kennedy clan. Much of my political and worldviews were influenced by her and the books she had me read. “Las Fuerzas Morales” was high on her list on how to live an upright life, never be a fake or hypocrite.
Mother’s style, intelligence, stubbornness, graceful graciousness and art of conversation were second to none. She knew about twenty ways to set a table and had fashion sense enviable of Diana Vreeland. She had close friends of all nationalities, races and genders. During law school, she befriended Fidel Castro and he wrote her a personal note when she requested her transcripts from New York during the sixties. It said, “Come and get it!”
Among her many interests, mother loved to paint miniature landscapes, arrange flowers, make gourmet meals, decorate, and write long elaborate letters in divine penmanship and go to the theatre. She loved artists and intellectuals as well as good music. One of the most important pieces of information you could ever share with her was what your interests were.
The last couple of months of her life were precious to me. I visited with her everyday to enjoy her views and conversation. The greatest nugget I can share reminds me of something Maya Angelou could have said. “Allow people to be who they are!” I plan to apply this advice generously and invite you to do the same.
Adieu, Grande Dame, Ma Mere!