When I’m With Her: Karen & Doreen
At 53 and 79, Karen and Doreen have experienced more than most mothers and daughters. Their intimate and strong relationship is always evolving and always nourished — especially on Mother’s Day.
TAKE US BACK TO WHEN YOU FIRST MET KAREN.
“Karen was very independent, already as a baby. I could put her down and she would amuse herself without needing a lot of tending to. That is a streak that hasn’t changed. She’s been independent throughout her whole life. I think that trait comes from my own mother: she always pushed education, especially for girls, and for girls to set goals in life and work towards those goals. I raised my children with that same mantra — giving girls and boys equal opportunities to pursue any career they desired.”
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO SEE YOUR MOTHER AGEING?
“It’s inspirational! I feel blessed seeing her reincarnate and keeping herself relevant. Even now when she’s soon to be 80, she still works part-time. A relationship needs to be tended like a garden; it needs to be nurtured. My mother and I see each other often, and there’s an intimacy between us that we both nourish. It’s the smaller things, the mundaneness of life, that gives us this rich intimacy.”
DEFINE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THREE WORDS.
“Trusting, honest and full of unconditional love.”
TELL US A DETAIL ABOUT YOUR MUM THAT YOU SECRETLY LOVE.
“I love that she speaks with her eyes, that she always gives everyone direct and striking contact. In life, very few people give you that contact. She’s genuinely interested and present. Just by speaking to her for a second you will get her complete attention. I love that she’s animated, she talks with her eyes and with her hands.”
I feel blessed seeing her reincarnate and keeping herself relevant. Even now when she’s soon to be 80, she still works part-time.
WHEN DOES YOUR DAUGHTER DRIVE YOU CRAZY?
“When she decides to walk me to death! Karen will walk for a hundred blocks, and finally ask ‘are you tired?’, before telling me we only have a few blocks left to go. She’s held me captive in New York City with all the walking!”
TELL US ABOUT A MEMORY ABOUT YOUR MOTHER YOU KEEP CLOSE TO YOUR HEART?
“I remember as a little girl, sitting in the backseat of her car in Kingston, and hearing something on the radio about death which made me really upset. She was very straightforward and said to me ‘once you’re born, the only thing that’s certain is that you’re going to die and there’s no ambiguity about that. If I die, I want you to celebrate that. I want you to celebrate my life and not mourn it.’ That speaks so much about her emphasis on living! She seizes the moment and she seizes joy. It’s not that she hasn’t struggled or had challenges in life, but she’s made a choice to be happy, knowing that there’s going to be death, struggle and sadness. I admire her hugely for it.”
Want more Mother’s Day inspiration? Read four more stories here!
PHOTOGRAPHER Jacqueline Harriet
STYLING Liz McClean | Walter Schupfer Management
MAKEUP Linda Gradin | L’Atelier NYC
HAIR Sabrina Szinay | The Wall Group