My Mother, My Business

by Lyn Foley on May 10, 2008

My Mother was absolutely my biggest fan. She wore my jewelry everywhere, shamelessly promoted it, gave out business cards, and “talked me up” at every occasion. Before I made lampworked beads I created one of a kind pieces using antique beads. I made her a very special necklace with one of her favorite gemstones, amethyst. In the necklace were some carved ivory rabbits, probably made in Japan as  Ojime, beautifully done, and coincidentally, very valuable. The necklace was one of her favorites, and she wore it everywhere, which included  packing it for a trip she took to Europe. On her way home, she wore it, and the  U.S. customs agent stopped her at re-entry, saying that she must declare it and pay a high duty. Oh, the agent was no match for her: “Young man”, she said, “My daughter made this necklace, just for me. It may have ivory in it, however, she bought it long ago, and I AM NOT paying duty on it. It has been in my proud possession for many years. Here is her card!” And with that, he (according to my Mother, who I have no reason to doubt), took my card, promised to look up my web site, and humbly said to her: “Next time you leave the country with your necklace m’am, please declare it upon leaving so that you may re-enter without question.”


Ah, my biggest fan,and how I still miss her, gone now since she died in 2002. My husband and I thought, just as we had returned “to land”, that we would have many years left with her nearby. It was not to be. The acute pain of her death is gone, but the moments I want to turn to her, or call her, and say “Mother, guess what?” don’t lessen. She taught me many things, telling me over and over as I grew up, “Lyn, You can do anything you want to in life, be anything, anyone you want to be. Don’t hold back, go for it, whatever you want to be or do.”

She constantly inspired me, just by her being.  In addition to raising two girls, she was a successful writer, holding many jobs in various writing capacities, and wrote and published  two books. (And all of this in an era way before “Women’s Lib”).  She always encouraged my business capabilities, as well as my creative abilities. And when we set off to sail around the world, she  also encouraged us even then, in spite of her underlying fears that we would be harmed or not survive the rigors of the oceans. The book I am working on about our journey is dedicated to her (and to Jim’s mother) with the following inscription:  “For our mothers, Ina Lee Hansen, and Carolyn Harrell Kilgore; They taught us to follow our dreams, and loved us enough to let us go.”

And my mother surely loved me enough to let me go, and see me soar in business. Thank you Mother, I miss you and love you still.



P.S. The topic of this post was suggested by a group I belong to: Flaming Hot. Follow the link to read posts by  other bead artists blogging about their life with glass.

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