MA MÈRE… by Nadine Cormier
Like a lot of families, when I was growing up… my mom worked.
She attended school and finished her certification for furniture upholstery. A few years later, she made the decision to further her exposure to a new venture and obtained a new certification and received her practicing license to become an aesthetician. She launched her own business, created an aesthetic studio, and worked tirelessly to establish herself and her clientele. Despite working extensive hours during the week, she would still express her affection to my brother and I by communicating and embracing her love towards us on a daily basis.
Later in our life, we moved from one country to another. She decided to go through the process all over again and re-established her business in NY. Her unquenchable thirst for knowledge continued as she attended seminars in different locations in the US. In the process, she gained exposure to eastern health techniques and attained numerous certifications in reflexology and Jin Shin Jyutsu (chakra /energy healing therapy).
In order to stay relevant and abreast of the latest techniques, she attended the Spa and Beauty Trade Show in NY (directed to industry professionals) and took me with her "as her +1" on a couple of occasions. I was fortunate because I got an early insight into the business as we attended several skincare seminars together at these shows. My mom shared her world as she wanted me to be a part of it. In retrospect, I truly appreciate it because it gave me a glimpse into her passion and who she was as a person on a deeper level. Despite being exposed to her world, I had my own path to walk. I found my passion in the Fashion industry due to all the glamour that it represented. I was always an artistic kid, taking all the art classes available at school and additional courses at the local art league near my town. She knew I loved to draw and paint, so she took me to her own painting classes that she was taking at a different location, which created a tighter bond between us.
Prior to graduating from college, I went to study abroad in Paris for the summer, and she supported my dream… in more ways than one. After I graduated, I was still obsessed with Paris. The city was filled with beauty and history and I could not get it out of my system. I was so enthralled with the culture, vibe, culinary scene, art, fashion, markets, day and night scene, and of course, the language (so I could use, learn, and exercise my maternal tongue). I decided to return back to Paris, but this time, it was for work. Initially, she did not want me to go for various reasons. It took many emotional discussions, but after a while and despite her apprehension, she came around and supported my decision… even though she worried about me every day. That summer, I was so inundated with my daily schedule that I forgot her birthday and I didn’t even realize it until after. When I eventually called home a couple of days later, my dad mentioned to me “on the sly” that I had missed calling on her birthday. Unbeknownst to me, she was deeply hurt, to the point that she cried. My mother is a person who has always loved to entertain her family (she is one of 10 children) & friends and has always thrown parties for every occasion. The person who has always supported me through so much (all without judgment) is the one that I hurt and I felt terrible.
After returning from Paris, I began my professional journey in NYC and worked in the Fashion Industry for 15 years. During those years, I worked in all facets of the industry... both the creative and the business side. I was always exposed to beauty in some capacity. I later switched industries and began a different route in the beauty industry with my business partner, Sandra. A part of me wonders, if it wasn’t for my mother, would I have gone down a health and beauty path?
Many years after retiring, her hunger for knowledge did not dissipate. She decided to go back to school and study human anatomy. Once again, she attained a different certification in massage therapy and got licensed in the state of Florida.
A few years ago, I had a near-death experience with double pneumonia. My mom… being the selfless and loving person that she is, flew up to take care of me for nearly a month. She worked tirelessly on me doing energy work via Jin Shin Jyutsu (chakra and healing touch therapy), reflexology, and other elements holistic treatments to optimize my strength. You could say that all those years of her taking seminars on holistic wellness came in handy.
Our health journey began in the 90’s. We did chelation therapy (Vit C IV drip), went for hydro colon therapy, massages, along with doing other techniques to optimize our health. I did not realize that it would not only influence my own path, but it would be the fibers and catalyst to live a clean lifestyle to this day. I was fortunate that my mom brought me to Holistic health centers then, because I was exposed to a bigger network that exists out there, above and beyond just a Western approach. Eastern holistic techniques to heal the body IS the way to go and we wish that it was supported by insurance companies. The knowledge that I have gained over the years on my journey (due to my mother initially) has changed me. Like her, it has been my passion for the last 20 + years to help people with the knowledge that I have gained.
My mom has always done a lot for us and many others in her family throughout her life. She loves to help people, and due to that, we have worked on a lot of projects in my home. We have refurbished some of my mid-century furniture together and she has made a lot of my draperies (since she is a master sewer). Her talent impresses me and I am proud of her. She not only has the skill set but she executes it with precision. I have learned many things from her, and I know that my strong work ethic comes from observing both parents.
I know to this day that my mom’s love for my brother and I has never wavered. My mom has always been very nurturing and has supported me and my dreams over the years. No matter what stage I was going through or what avenue I needed to take, she supported me. I am thankful for her unconditional love and I hope that she knows that I love her with all my heart. She has gained a strong sense of self from all her experiences (through the good and bad), but after all of it, I realize more and more as I have gotten older how truly strong she is and I couldn’t be prouder of her if I tried.
Bonne Fête des mères, Mam. Je T’aime!
MY MOM... by Sandra Anderson Diaz
As we celebrate mothers from all over the world, I cannot let this special day go by without honoring the most selfless, kind, empowering, compassionate and caring person in my life, my mom. When I was growing up, I had the fortune of having my mom "stay at home" with my sister, brother, and myself while my dad went off to work. I never realized how fortunate we were to have her home with us every day until I became a mother myself. She made the "job" look so easy however I can assure you that if she were to get paid for "that" job, she would have earned millions of dollars in my book.
When I think back to my childhood, one of the first things that come to mind is my mom always hugging me tightly and reassuring me that everything was going to be alright no matter how upset or frustrated I was. There was never a moment that she wouldn't drop everything to be there to listen, offer advice, and build me up when I was down. Not once that I can recall in all my years on this earth, did she ever judge me or make me feel like I shouldn't be proud of who I am regardless of the mistakes or poor decisions I made. By no means was she accepting when it came to "breaking the rules", however she always turned the situation into a learning opportunity that would help me grow and become the person I am today. To this day, her enthusiasm for life and continuous positive attitude is what lifts my spirits whenever I feel overwhelmed while giving me the confidence to overcome any challenge!
Kindness and giving back have always been at the core of my mom's character. Every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas, we would buy food, presents, and essentials to give to families a couple of towns over from where we lived, who were less fortunate. I will never forget the happiness and tears of joy it brought to those people's faces. One day she read an article in the local paper about a woman with 3 kids who was physically abused by her husband and had no money. She immediately called the paper and kindly asked for the women's information so she could help her and the kids. For many years she gave them money, food, essentials but most of all love and hope. When it was my mom's 70th birthday celebration, the family made a surprise entrance and shared that if it wasn't for my mother, they would not be where they are today. These and so many other selfless acts throughout my life are now part of me as I teach my kids to give back and help others no matter what their race, religion, sexual affiliation, ethnicity, or economic status is.
"Patience", now that word makes me laugh to myself because I put my poor mom through the wringer since I was very "curious" about everything in life...oh and I was a salesperson too from the earliest age who was relentless about getting my way...sorry mom! Despite my determination and efforts to drive her crazy with all of my interests, hobbies, and wanting to take every lesson under the sun, my mother always encouraged me to follow my passions. She gave me space and support to experience life and figure out things on my own instead of telling me what I should and should not do. Because of that freedom, I embraced her philosophy that I could do anything I set my mind to no matter what challenge, person or obstacle gets in my way. She would say, "Love yourself, always believe in who you are and let God guide you on your journey". To this day, these words have become paramount in the lessons that I hope my kids will look back on one day and cherish.
She is a "hugger" and if you ask my kids, they will tell you that I too will take any chance I can to give and get a hug but only after I gave them a proper course on "how to hug 101"...No wishy-washy arms allowed...LOL! Place arms fully around one's body, secure hold, and squeeze tight! Hug like you mean it! I can feel the eye roll from my 14-year-old daughter who affectionately thinks I am "annoying".
Needless to say, I have a "strong" personality unlike my mom who is as gentle as a kitten, however, she celebrated my strength as hard as it was to manage at times. It must be the red hair...LOL but all kidding aside, I am the woman I am today because of her unconditional love, endless sacrifices, positive attitude and number one goal in life to see me genuinely happy! She too had her own strength and started a business after raising her kids without any experience and knowledge but managed to run it successfully for 18 incredible years. She wasn't afraid of taking risks and knew that life begins at the end of your comfort zone, hence the reason I started NU EVOLUTION with Nadine but that is a whole other story!
While I could continue going on with so many other fond memories and stories, the bottom line is that there are no words to express how deeply I love, adore and respect my mom for everything that she has done and continues to do for me every day of her life! Trust me they are strong shoes to fill, however, I am one determined individual who will do everything I possibly can to raise my kids with the same unconditional love, respect, and selflessness that she gave me. I wake up every day thanking God for my mom and the gifts she has given me that I am now so blessed to pass along to my kids.
Mom, you are my rock, my best friend, my absolute EVERYTHING! I don't know what I would do in this life without you! Saying the words THANK YOU are just not enough to express how deeply grateful I am for all that you have done and continue to do for me and my family! I feel so blessed to be your daughter and am humbled by the beautiful person that you are on the inside and out. I hope to make you proud and that my kids will one day look back and appreciate me the way that I appreciate you!
From the bottom of my heart, I LOVE YOU, MOM!