At the Rivkin Center, women’s lives are our passion. This Mother’s Day, let’s honor the women in our lives who have loved us, cared for us, and taught us so much.

      • Share what you love most about your mom through words, photos, or video
      • Read inspiring stories about the moms in our lives
      • Make a gift in honor of your mom this Mother’s Day

Dear mom,

I miss you. 

Thank you for being you. 

Now that I am grown, I truly appreciate how selfless and loving you were. (Not that I didn’t feel incredibly lucky growing up).

Imagine 5 girls from ages 0-16 years. Wow! 

I only have 2 boys: a wimp in comparison.  

You were always there for us; our champion and most devoted supporter.  You sacrificed for us although I doubt you ever felt or saw it that way. You are our Mother.

The incredible amount of unconditional love that you gave us was transformed into being an active volunteer in our schools, and community. Your dedication  to our education, sacrificing new cars, fancy clothes and trips so we could all attend the best private schools to prepare for our futures. Additionally, our home was always open to ours friends and neighbors. (We did have the best junk food and fun…summer days at the beach /pool, ice cream runs and trips to the video store. Your relaxed, understanding parenting mode was just the right balance.)

 It is not fair that your life was taken away before the age of 50. You never complained.  Cancer was not going to take away our “normal” life and fun. You were determined.

I am not sure I could be so brave or silent but as a Mother, I completely understand.

I regret that we could not cry together, but I am also glad that your Legacy is not cancer.

I remember you as my best friend, role model and hero.

Thank you for your love, generosity and support.  

I think of you often.


I love the fact that everything in my life, I owe to my mother. As I grew, we didn’t have a father in the picture, so my mother raised nine children by herself. She worked seven days a week, returned to college to earn an education degree and continued to work each and every day.

You can imagine where my work ethic was born. She gave me the gift of self-reliance and I learned about compassion and caring. Any of the little extra money that we had as we grew was spent on us, not on her. One of my true joys in life was as she aged, providing her trips like a cruise and taking care of her the way she had with all nine of us. My mother had love for everyone, even as she was battling ovarian cancer, she thought of others, never of herself. My mother taught us all to give back to others and I love so much that I’ve been able to do that and set the example for my son Tyler to do the same. He is now overseas assisting other less advantaged individuals and his grandmother and mother would be very proud of him!

-Joe White

Dear Mom,

I miss you and always will.

You came from the “old country” to the United States from Latvia in 1914, and this summer Joyce and I visited your home town of Jacobspil where you grew up, over 100 years ago.

You were a stay-at-home Mom and you raised four kids; my 3 older sisters and myself. You raised us in the European Jewish tradition with a large extended family (21 first cousins). Mom, you did your own coking for three meals a day and we rarely went out. And you were the best pastry chef of our extended family. You did all the sewing of our torn clothes and darned our worn out stockings.

You made my childhood very warm and stable. I was the little brother who my sisters said was always getting in their way. You were always around and in grade school. I walked home for hot lunches with you, and listened to Art Linkleter’s “house party” or Cecil Solly’s gardening tips. Our home was always filled with cousins and friends. You loved gardening and my father was in the poultry business and every spring he would bring home a barrel of chicken manure . We had the best roses and vegetable garden on our block.

Every summer we always vacationed in Soap Lake for two weeks. You and a few of your sisters would do all the cooking  for our families. There was no air-conditioning in those days. I remember once it was 96 degrees at night!

Mom, you were the family ”physician” and you nursed us though our various illnesses. You made thing better when we had success and eased us when things didn’t go our way.

Mom, you lived to see 8 grandchildren and Marsha and I added 5 more.

I will all always love and miss you.

Melissa is named after you.

Love, Saul

Dearest Mom,

I think of you as kind of a “pioneer.” As a second generation American on your mother’s side and the daughter of a German immigrant on your father’s side, you blazed a trail to unknown territory when you married dad.  When you were 25, in the summer of 1935, you met my father — on a blind date.   Dad was a New Yorker living in Seattle, starting a business.   He made friends — some of whom happened to be your mother’s cousins. They suggested that he arrange to meet you when he went back to Brooklyn to visit his parents. He fell in love with you instantly and on the second date he proposed to you on Jones Beach!   You said no, at first, because you didn’t know much about him — and he was 15 years your senior, but his beautiful letters made you realize he was a good man and you decided to take a chance.

You journeyed alone by train across Canada to meet your future husband in Vancouver, from where the two of you drove to Seattle that Friday in August to have dinner with your cousins — and on Sunday you were married at the Olympic Hotel.  I don’t think I could be as brave and courageous as you.  But it worked out well.  You had a loving marriage of 42 years, before dad passed away in 1977.

In 1936, dad sent for your mother and two sisters to live in Seattle, so your family could be reunited.  I came along about a year later, and Stan was born three and a half years after that.

I didn’t know too much about your father.  You used to tell me how very creative he was and how he died so young.   You were only 18 when that happened, so you had to give up your dreams of being a drama student at Hunter College in Manhattan in order to go to work to help support your two sisters and mother.  I knew Grandma, who was of Polish descent, quite well because she lived near us.

Mom, you and dad provided a loving home for Stan and me.  You were always there for us.  You introduced me to the arts and took me to see my first opera when I was about 11.  You provided art, music and dance lessons for me and violin lessons for Stan.   Nothing was spared to provide us with the best education possible.  If I had a problem you were always there to counsel me.  You taught us the meaning of “tzedakah,” or Hebrew for the obligation of giving charity to the poor.   You and dad were role models for us and the community.

We always ate dinner together as a family, and while we didn’t go out to eat much (there weren’t very many restaurants in Seattle in those days!) we did go to out on special occasions.   I remember Rosie’s on Highway 99, Ruby Chow’s and Canlis on very special occasions.  But you loved to cook and entertain, and you used to invite people to dinner and they would invite you back.   Quite a few of your friends happened to be cousins of Saul’s.   I wish you could have seen me married to Saul.  I know you would have approved of him and would have loved him.   I’m sorry that you couldn’t see how my life has changed because of this great man.   I have five lovely stepdaughters and nine grandchildren.   I love them all.   Never having had my own children, I have been able to experience the joy of my grandchildren — almost as if they were my own!    I would give anything if it were possible to spend even a day with you, to let you see how happily married I am and to meet my family.

Mom, I always admired how very accomplished you were.  You were a good housekeeper, and excellent cook and entertainer, and you volunteered for various Jewish organizations, becoming president and doing PR for some of them. People still come up to me to tell me how inspiring you were.  You were a wonderful writer — and, in fact, took up short story writing later on in life.  You were also very glamorous.  There’s a photo from a newspaper ad taken of you when you were about 23, at a bank in New York.  You had walked into the bank to make a deposit, and the bank’s ad agency, which happened to be there, asked if you wouldn’t mind posing for an advertisement for the bank.   The photo shows you wrapped in a fur stole, and your hair was done up to look like a Hollywood actress.  I think you looked like Vivien Leigh in that photograph.

At our very rustic summer home on the Olympic Peninsula (which dad bought as a safe haven in case the atomic bomb might drop on Seattle during the war) you would pick cherries and berries and make delicious pies, along with fried chicken, potato salad and various sorts of Jello for guests who came every weekend.  Everyone looked forward to your feasts which you cooked on a wood-burning stove.    You decorated the walls of our little bathroom with Post Magazine covers, which had original Norman Rockwell paintings on them.   (Those covers would be worth a fortune now.)  And you and dad planted a Victory garden.

I remember very vividly the day World War II was over:  I’ll never forget how you ran about a quarter of a mile down the beach shouting to the neighbors, “The War is over!! The War is over!!  You had heard the news on the radio, our only source of communication with the outside world.  We had no telephone.  Dad would go off to work in Seattle every day, and you didn’t even have a car.   There were emergencies and several times you had to run quite a distance to the nearest neighbor to ask them to drive us to the nearest doctor.

Mom, I’m glad I came home from living in New York to be with you during your last months.  I know that cancer took over your life, but you put up a brave front.  You didn’t want it to end this way.  I felt so helpless, but I hope I gave you some comfort by being here.  You were a wonderful mother and I shall always think of you as the beautiful, courageous and loving woman who ventured across country to change her life, give life to Stan and me and make dad the happiest man on the planet.  I think of you very often and miss you terribly.



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