Did you know? In 1912, West Virginia became the first state to officially recognize Mother's Day, and in 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance, declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day, according to mothersdaycentral.com. FYI, not all countries celebrate Mother's Day in May: Many countries celebrate Mother’s Day on different dates and in different ways. This year, Mother’s Day in the U.S. falls on May 14 – yep, that’s tomorrow! -- and we here at Weekend asked some of our readers: What are your favorite memories of Mom and how has she influenced you? Here are a few insights and photos:
Ed Dietz III, Deitz Laboratories
My mom, Barbara Dietz has recently retired after many decades in the optical business. I have had the privilege of working with her for almost three decades. My dad, Ed Jr passed away in 1990, and I left Signet/Armorlite to join mom at Dietz Optical that same year. It has been wonderful adventure which we will cherish and long remember.
Barb's quick wit and product knowledge made her the go-to girl for many generations of opticians in the North Texas and Southwest region. She loved the industry and all the wonderful friends she developed over many years. She also spent many years in the business with daughters Debbie Kemp and Dixie Dietz. She also shared most of this adventure with her trusted friend and confidant, Angie Brown, who has worked with the family for over 39 years. I love my mom and she continues to brighten many lives in her new environment.
Mike Palkovicz, i-see Optical
My mom, Rita Palkovicz, grew up in Poland and moved the States after World War II. She became an optician in the early 1970s, and a few years later she and my dad started i-see Optical.
Throughout her optical career, many eye docs would call her for her advice. Even today at 81, she comes in every day to lend a hand, and still gets calls for her recommendations. Her brother and sister are also in the optical business and have led companies on a national scale.
I honor my mother on this Mother’s Day, not only as my mother, but as my business partner, mentor, biggest supporter and the best optical person I know. She has a mean right hook, too; just ask the champ, Sugar Ray Leonard. (see photo, right).
I love you, mom.
Scott Shapiro, Europa Eyewear/STATE Optical
“I don't want to overstate this, but to me (and to many around her, I think) my mom is like a fashion icon.
“When I say that, I'm not just talking about the way she dresses, I'm talking about the way she carries herself. Of all the things my mom has taught me, the one I most hope to someday emulate is her grace.
There's something very unique and difficult to describe about the way she treats people, and the way she effortlessly makes them feel. I see their reactions and watch them when they're around her, and I've always wanted to make people feel that way.
Brian O’Donnell, OD, New Era Eye Care, Shavertown, Pa.
Without doubt, Anna Jarvis founded one of the most necessary days of acknowledgment, Mother's Day. Mothers are unreal in strength, kindness, care and are the cohesive bond for all families. My greatest blessing in life, and I have many, was having a great Mom. Taken from me far too early, her impact was everlasting. She did not come from wealth or high societal strata, but displayed grace, charm and impressive appreciation for the finer things in life. She was not a beneficiary of higher education, but her wisdom and push for her “four boys” to achieve higher levels of education was relentless.
The accolades and appreciation for my Mom could easily go on. So I will conclude with the nicest gift she provided me. And that is to appreciate and acknowledge what you have while working toward what you want. Thursday, our son graduated from Temple University. While a picture of my Mom, for this writing, certainly would be appropriate, my feeling is she would prefer and love seeing the happiness on Brian’s Mothers face for his accomplishment. The smile and joy of this picture is a very nice gift I deeply appreciate, thanks Mom!
Happy Mother's Day to all Moms!
David Friedfeld, ClearVision Optical
My mom Mimi Friedfeld is indeed an inspirational person and no question has influenced me in multiple ways. She’s an inspiration for the way I feel about people, life and family, which is a direct influence from my mom. Here are 10 ways:
1. As a young boy my mom filled me with the confidence to do anything since she told me that anything was possible and I should reach for the starts in everything I did.
2. My mom often helped me with my homework, BUT always made me do it myself.
3. My mom was in the forefront of “not seeing black or white or native born or immigrant. I observed that she treated everyone with respect and valued people as individuals.
4. Ever since I can remember my mom, she was a kind and giving person. There was no task too big for her when it came to helping others or befriending someone who has less. From my mom, I learned compassion for others.
5. My mom was also a hard worker and I observed her as a partner to my dad. Between the two of them they built a nice business and I saw that she contributed and was valued by my dad. I learned early about the value of a partner and I also learned that women could play an equal role in all endeavors.
6. My mom has good old fashioned common sense and was always willing to spend time listening. From her I learned that no problem was too big, and that every problem had a solution.
7. From an early age, my mom showed interest in others and EVERYONE thought that Mimi was a TRUE and BEST Friend. This led me to understand that being interested in others is a great way to build relationships and seeking to understand others.
8. Mimi could have a temper, though she rarely showed it outside the house and she was not mean spirited. She was always the life of the party and was willing to engage in many new activities. I would call it PASSION, and from her I learned to live life with a passion towards all that I did.
9. Mimi loved to read and loved to learn. And I learned to enjoy seeking out knowledge just for the fun of it.
10. Mimi has a willingness to dance to her own drummer/music, within reasonable limits, having fun, but not too extreme.
Peter Friedfeld, ClearVision Optical
Did you ever stop to think that life’s great lessons are taught by our moms? It’s true, just ask any mom! So in honor of Mother's Day, I thought I would share some of my mom’s (Mimi—as most of you know her) lessons as they relate to life:
1. Don’t be a spectator: Be a participant! Life is for the living; the more you participate, the better you will feel. Energy is one of life’s greatest forces, and for those of you who know Mimi, she has great energy and tons of it. Live life to the fullest every day, rest, and the next day, start over.
2. Make your presence felt - naturally. My mom can walk into a room and within a short time, everyone knows she’s there. But she does it in a way that is natural; not because she is the loudest person in the room (though that’s possible), she does it with a smile and energy that makes people want to be with her. This is a gift -- and if you have that gift, make sure you fully develop it and share it with others.
3. Be all you can be, and then some. Before there was the US Army slogan, there was Mom: “Honey, you can be whatever you want." What a great inspiration in life. And so true. She never said it was easy, never said there would be no bumps in the road. She did say that you can achieve anything you can dream of with hard work, great energy, and the right support system. You can achieve what you believe.
4. Believe in something bigger than yourself and, while we are on that topic, don’t be afraid to dream big. We know fear is what holds back most people in life, so make sure you believe in something bigger that yourself to guide you along the way.
5. Positive people attract. My mom comes from a long line of positive, strong-willed women. There is something about a positive person that’s electric. You can watch it ever day; sour people suck the life out of a room, and positive people breathe life back into the void. Keep it positive always -- there is no greater energy on Earth than positive energy.
6. Be a great listener. I am amazed by what people will tell my mom. A sales person in a store will tell my mom the most intimate details of their life within minutes of meeting her! I know this is due to several things, but primarily, my mom has a way to connect to people: to build trust, build a relationship -- practically instantly! It’s a gift. People do want to share with others they connect with, and you need to be a great listener to build relationships with people. Practice this skill every day; we know it is an essential skill in most jobs.
7. Listen to your mom. Our greatest lessons in life are taught by those who brought us on this journey. Whatever your relationship was with your mom, there are great lessons there that we can use every day of our life. Whether the lesson was to be a kind person; to love your siblings; to respect others; to be caring; to spread joy and happiness; to enjoy what you do; to never say no; to not give up; to share with others; to be a comfort to those who need more….whatever those really important lessons were, don’t forget them, and make it part of your life.