My mom died of brain cancer when I was in high school, 20 years ago now. And for many years, I missed her vividly. With time, the rawness of her loss faded. Because I lost her so young, I find that I don't miss her as much because of the experiences we shared or the conversations we had. I miss her for those we didn't.
I'm not sure if any of my mother's customers knew how broken she was or how difficult it was for her to put a smile on her face each day, especially since she struggled with alcoholism. But because mom knew how to pull herself together, no one ever suspected what was hidden beneath her artfully applied make-up and stylish polyester pantsuit.
Not only is the timing right for mothers and daughters to start businesses, the combination is also an incredibly powerful one. My mother and I have practiced "working" together my whole life, and we've witnessed each others' leadership and partnership styles in every kind of situation -- I'd be hard-pressed to find a business partner I understood as much.
As I've watched my mother grow old I realize how little control we have about how long we are fated to live. I've changed my thinking about the goal of a long life. Quality of life is more important to me. And how much control do we have over that? Still, I hope I will have the kind of spirit and pride Mom shows the world despite her certainty that she has outlived her time.