Happy Mother’s Day, Alice!

My mother, my sweet mother…

                                                llyn strong

My mother, Alice Frances Sargent, was raised by a Quaker mother. Her upbringing in New Hampshire and Massachusetts followed New England ways—stoicism, introspectiveness, and resilience. These traits were steadying influences throughout her life.

Alice lived with me and helped raise my daughter, Sydney, who was born on my mother’s birthday. And she came to live with me after I married Brad. Always supportive of my creativity and professional endeavors, she became my cherished friend.

The inspirational Alice Angel assemblage that decorates llyn’s jeweler’s bench

In 1989, when I opened my first retail space, I created and made fancy, multi-colored bows with 34 curlicue ribbon ends to decorate my gift boxes. As my business grew, this labor-intensive bow making grew out of hand. So, Alice took over. She continued to make these celebratory bows for me until the year before she died, in 2009. (These bows are now made by the non-profit Thrive Upstate.)

Alice creating llyn’s signature bows

In my mind, Alice rhymes with Angel. She collected angels in many forms, and I’m sure that she had some of the unseen variety to watch over her. I thought of her immediately when I purchased a pair of druzy quartz angel wings at a gem show. These angel wings and my mother became the inspirations for all the angel jewels that I create.

When I was a child, Christmas was a huge deal. Alice told my brother, sister, and me winter stories. She made reindeer hoof prints in whatever snow had fallen. And she loved to see the joy in a gift given.

One of my most vivid memories of my mother’s creativity was the Barbie doll birthday cake. Always angel food, of course! She wrapped the doll’s body in tin foil to protect it, placed the doll in the center hole of the cake, and went to town with iced decorations to create Barbie’s special dress.

I hope you take time on Mother’s Day to remember your own mother’s strengths, creative passions, and the gifts she passed to you. Happy Mother’s Day to mothers everywhere!

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