Honoring Our Sisters
Our ancestors are our physiological, emotional and spiritual DNA. Our place as sentient beings on this planet is one we must hold sacred and our commitment to seeking truth under trauma and recognizing that we are not broken, is key.
For these reasons, we support KIVA, PETA and the International Society of Ethical Psychiatrists and Psychologists. A percent of each sale goes toward these nonprofits.
Our story begins with one little girl, who was placed in an orphanage. My mother.
She was just five, and very ill when she was placed, and the Catholic orphanage converted her quickly, so that they could give her "Last Rights", as they thought she was close to death. She claims that they even changed her name, not just religion, from "Grace" to "Catherine", of which she did not realize until her 70th birthday, in finally getting her original birth certificate.
She survived, and went on to spend most of her youth there, in the large stone and brick institutional building.
She used to tell me stories of some of the abuse and humiliation she endured. Her brother, also in the orphanage, will not speak of the many years he spent there; it was too horrific for him to share.
When my mother was a late teen, her older sister, now married, was able to adopt her.
During this timeframe, the next door neighbor had a girl about my mom's age, and they quickly became friends.
The friend said "I'm writing to my brother in the service, will you write to his best friend?" and so the letters began. What started out as support, turned to love.
That young man in the service ended up falling in love with my mother before he even laid eyes on her face to face. When he came to visit her for the first time, in Grand Central Station, he looked at her and proposed on the spot. Their first meeting, he already had an engagement ring. She said yes, and the rest is history.
(a photo I found that she had sent him when they were writing love letters)
My mother, in the orphanage, was forced to sew as a chore. It was survival not hobby. She was forced to use only natural medicine as the new orphanage was not "rich" enough for the "new" penicillin drug just released.
However, through the years, my mother on her own with my father, turned all of this to a positive. She became a master seamstress and had clients such as "Strawbridge and Clothier" and was able to grow and care for gardens like no one else. As a teen, I have memories of how people would stop and ask for tours of her gardens.
Growing up, by all means, she should have had what we now call "Attachment Disorder" or, at the minimum, anger or grudges at the orphanage or those who placed her there (her own mother died, her father was ill).
However, she was loving. The most loving, amazing woman I ever met.
Many years later, she was fighting a rare cancer. Her last coherent words to me where "Remember all that matters is to love and forgive". I didn't think much of it at the time, as I didn't realize it was the last words she would speak to me.
Then, one day, propped up with pillows, and my hands and hers entwined, she was unable to open her eyes or to speak. I realized I was doing everything to keep her alive but then, realized how selfish this might be.
I asked her gently, "Mom, are you holding onto this life because you worry about me being without you? Put any pressure on my hand if so."
I felt pressure.
It hit me that my mother, in her weakest moments, actually in the process of death, was stronger than me in my most vibrant moments, as her will was so strong. All of a sudden it flooded to me that this woman, my mother, was crossing time and space; she was the little girl. She was the wife. She was the entrepreneur. She was the aunt. Lover. Mother. Sister.
So, I said, lying through my teeth, "Mom, it's OK, I'll be fine without you. Go ahead and pass on... you taught me well, and I will always carry your legacy on, and you are alive through my own children. I see you when I see them. You won't be gone, just different"
I didn't even cry when I said that... she had one tear fall out of her dehydrated little body. I'm sure it was a sob.
The next morning, she passed away.
Fast track to almost twenty years after that day.
I meet and study with world famous poet, Sonja Sanchez and women in a Haiku-Film group.
Where my mother gave me an invaluable lesson, Sonja and the kindred spirits I met there, gave me the wings to set the lesson into flight. (pictured below)
With Sister Sonja Sanchez
Sonja actually reminded me so much of my mother in so many ways, but then I started looking for my mother in other places.
I now see my mother in every woman.
It wasn't as deeply etched earlier, but now it is so clear, her last words to love and forgive; what I saw in her was love, forgiving and living; this is the essence of the product line, to help women to ignite their awe, to overcome hardship, to create beauty be it a lovely dress, a poem, or a memory.
While my late father and other men in my life are near to my heart, and have taught me great things, there is a difference in the sisterhood that each and every woman shares.
This skincare line is all about the moments of the day, because each moment is filled with gifts, and we must be happy in our own skin, in order to rise above the struggle and to see the beauty in the challenge.
The three areas in which we focus for charitable outreach and philanthropy are:
Kiva (join our team and support a women who reminds you of a women in your life. I tend to support seamstresses)
PETA (of which we are approved by)
International Society of Ethical Psychiatrists and Psychologists (I am also a member)