Celia Brown — 7/91936 – 6/29 2005. My mom was many things. Some I didn’t like, we didn’t exactly have the best mother/daughter relationship, even though I was her only daughter– only child.
About Celia: She was a super A type. Graduated high school at 16 and college at 20. She was on her way to law school when an unfortunate happenstance occurred. Pregnancy with me by her college sweetheart, right tackle Nick Brown. And that was it. She went to work and gave up her dream to be a lawyer.
She was also stunningly beautiful. 5’8″, 122 pounds for years. Her naked face only craved lipstick to punctuate her perfect lips. Her pedigree was ideal for envious looks — father 1/4 white, 1/4 black, 1/4 Cherokee, 1/2 Blackfoot and mother mostly of Western African Heritage.
However her thin genes clashed with my father’s big Indian genes. My dad is more Native American than African American — Choctaw — and Indonesians often claim him as their own.
Despite our differences however, my mother did pass on a few tips that I follow:
1. Always use moisturizer. This she did religiously and she looked at least a decade younger than her 68 years when she died.
2. Wear lipstick. I think this came from my granny, her mom, who is never seen without red lipstick. For more about my grandmothers life advice read this.
3. Buy a new coat each winter. This was our little tradition. We went to her store du jour — Rosenberg’s, Joseph Magnin, I Magnin or Saks. Now I buy my daughters every winter.
4. When you have to make a decision, do a pro/con list. I still do this.
5. Every year, make an assessment of your year. This still helps me do better the next year.
My mom was a beautiful woman. She was an immaculate housekeeper. She helped my father build wealth. She was so darn smart. She dedicated her life to volunteer work and helped hundreds of people change their lives for the better. Despite the differences we had, I can only wish to be half the woman she was.