July 5 my mother, Alice Van Bogaert, passed away. Those of you who know me personally or have followed this blog know she was a formidable influence in my life. She was responsible for the creative DNA–the voice in my head–and a standard of excellence that has both inspired and bedeviled me.
Mom was a paradox in many ways. Introverted but fiercely grounded and vocal in her opinions. Emotionally reserved but with moments of great tenderness and hopeless if something struck her particularly funny. This breadth of personality brought a richness and complexity to all her endeavors.
I count her greatest gift to me creativity, particularly in the ability to see potential in anything. Her persistent pursuit of excellence ingrained in me the grit needed to chase my own potential relentlessly.
The world is less for her loss. I say that not just as a daughter but as a person. Both my parents left a great master narrative–true love, adventure, kids that grew into good human beings, professional accomplishment and recognition, and the realization of a behemoth dream–owning their own farm. They retired to their dream house and traveled together. Mom, who as a kid loved to read about travel to exotic places, traveled to those Dad didn’t want to with her daughters.
In one of our last conversations, I told her that from where I sat she had a wonderful life. I meant it.
For those who never met her, I am sorry you will not know her. She was one of a kind.