This is one of my favorite pictures of my mom and me. I was about a year old, at my grandparents' house (dad's side) on the James River in Newport News, Va.
My mom is Anne Howard and she is one of the kindest, most intelligent, quirky and fun people I've ever known. She has been a wonderful mother to me, so it is extremely sad that for the last 5 years, she's suffered a debilitating form of depression. It's still hard to believe how hard it struck, although there is family history. It just feels strange when it happens to someone so full of curiosity and life, at age 68, which she was when she became so ill. It's not to say that she didn't suffer a lower level at other points or display some symptoms that may have been overlooked. I don't know for sure. All I can say, is that I cherish all the time I spent with my mom growing up. Of course, I had some rebellious times in high school and in college, but somehow we've always remained very close. I feel incredibly lucky for that.
Here, we are in good times with my friend, Kristine. Each summer, from 2006 - 2011 she loved coming up to go to the US Open during the 1st week to see great players like Tommy Robredo, David Ferrer and even Roger Federer play up close! We'd usually go 2 or 3 days and a friend or two would often join. My mom has always loved New York and is a big part of why I grew to love it at a young age. I started visiting NYC with her, and often a few of her friends, when I was 14.
Here I am with Tony and friends at The Algonquin Hotel. Mom always had a fascination with the Round Table, particularly with Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley. So it was a thrill for her to stay there. She tends to make friends wherever she goes and we met Tony on our 1st stay when I was about 16. When he learned that I was interested in art, he gave me 2 books, one on Monet and the other on Manet. I was in college for this picture, but she continued to stay here even after I moved to the city. It wasn't until 2004, that I finally convinced her that Brooklyn is nice, too ;)
Here we are, bathing beach beauties late '80s style, Virginia Beach, Va. She's in the middle, her friend and coworker at the State Capitol, Mary is on the right. That's me on the left. None of us tan like this anymore! I love that we all have the same hairstyle, despite the range of ages.
This is us at The Hotel Excelsior on Lido, Venice. Pure luxury, an amazing place (and not too horribly $$$ when you visit during "off peak" season, which includes early May :) Mom and I went to Italy twice, in '05 and '06, feels like yesterday. Regardless of how many times we got lost walking through Venice, we always enjoyed ourselves. Both of us appreciate finding the out of the way, less touristy, local spots to stop and take in the view, sip a perfect cappuccino or glass of Prosecco. I've noticed, most of my friends are like this, too! My favorite memories are from traveling to parts Italy, France, the UK and Spain with mom. I sure wish she could still do these things!!
I love you, mom.
This is her, before I was in the picture, so to speak. This photo reminds me of an old film still, I love it.
I wrote a more in depth post to mom and included some of my friends' moms in a Blipadee post in 2010. Take a look!
Both of my parents have an affinity with animals and that's probably why they're what I most love to paint!
To all you great moms, out there - Have a wonderful Mother's Day!