I have not posted any blogs for quite some time.
I left for Paris on Friday, March 4th for shows, stopped by my Mom’s apartment before I left to give her a hug and leave her some groceries..she looked so happy, volunteering at the front desk of her senior living apartment (we moved her there a year and a half ago to be nearby, it’s just a block from our house) and i left with a feeling she was so happy, healthy, and strong…she had a gift for me, a plaque that said “Daughter, Once you were a precious little girl, Now you are also my friend, Always and forever, you are loved” It sits on my desk now so I can see it everyday, and it will remain there for the rest of my life.
About 24 hours after I arrived, we got the call she had fallen and had broken her hip, and needed a hip replacement. We were instantly surrounded by the love of our models and their families and our Next family. We never felt alone in this entire process.
Due to her medical condition, the surgery had to be delayed. We stayed through the end of Paris Fashion Week, delayed on the way back home and spent a night in New York, flew out the following morning, dropped off our bags, went straight to the hospital, and her surgery took place on Friday, March 11th.
Since that time, she remained in the hospital, six surgeries in all. She endured more than I can say. She remained steadfast in her outlook, and we had the wonderful experience of hours and hours of stories being told, her grandchildren sharing how much they loved her, Jeff right by my side every step, friends, our models and their families rising up to hold us up, and ultimately on Palm Sunday, April 17th, her leaving this world and going to heaven to be with my father.
We came to Iowa Wednesday, had her vigil Thursday, and her funeral (I prefer Celebration of Life) on Good Friday. It was beautiful. Not much more can be said. It was perfect. “Nothing is small when God is a part of it”- Rick Warren
As exhausted as I am, I can’t sleep. I laid in bed thinking of so much, but relative to this, I had to get up and share what I am feeling. Two critically important thoughts that I would be remiss if I didn’t get up and write about immediately;
1) There would be no Mother Model Management without my mother. We named our company MOTHER because it was our desire to be the best mother agents in the world. Throughout the past 3 years in particular, we have realized that ultimately it really reflects the way in which we do business, as parents. Today, for the first time, I have REALLY come to know, that without her constant support through the years, especially in the early years, or when we went through our share of financial struggle, we LITERALLY would have had to closed our business without the loving, unconditional support of my mother, and for that, we are eternally grateful (it adds a whole new dimension to why I love our name) Every success story, including Ashton Kutcher (who I found in the height of hanging on to the dream of this business that I love)…I can say with 100% clarity, would not have been given the gift of their dream without the never fail support of my mother. I was doing what I was doing because she was helping me through to keep PRESSING ON. Our models can do today what they are doing because she helped me to continue doing what I was doing, it all added up to where Jeff and I are today. “The resistance you encounter is not there to stop you. On the contrary, it gives you something solid & palpable through which to move”- Ralph Marston
2) My never give up attitude came from my mother. She was an incredible woman who came though a thing or two and never wavered. She taught me the VALUE of building something slowly. She delighted in hearing about our models and how they were doing. I have come to the understanding today that the value of PATIENCE we have learned is the cornerstone of our business. Never in a hurry. We have always believed in scouting, the right people would be placed in our path. We can find someone at 13 and enjoy the time it takes to develop them until they are truly ready, and then, and only then, move forward. We have also seen girls and guys along the way that we believed if they were truly supposed to be our girls, they would be.
Yes, I learned from my mother to live with the right intention, sow good seed, and you will reap a good harvest. Do more than others expect and look out for the best interest of others. Mother will remain selective and small so we can pour ourselves into our models and align with their families to make their dreams come true.
Isn’t that the ultimate gift? That’s what my mother gave to me.