Sorry, mum, this one might make you cry.
Of course every daughter thinks their mum is the best (still waiting for my daughter’s awakening) but here is why I think mine is pretty special.
Not only does she possess the usual qualities you’d expect - kind, gracious, selfless to a fault, but she has been my inspiration my whole life…I don’t think she quite realizes it.
Born to immigrant parents, she grew up first generation in England... Her parents had fled Russia and Poland to escape persecution... Her father, Maurice Caplan, was a successful business man and pushed my mother to be anything she wanted to be, which in the early sixties was quite unusual to be anything other than a housewife.
After University, she went off to law school, qualified and became a solicitor... She was one of only two women in her graduating class.
She joined a reputable firm in London, just behind the law courts between the Strand and Temple… I spent many a half-term sitting on the end of her desk playing office with desk staplers, rubber stamps and delicious carbon copy paper... while she dictated into a dictaphone for her secretaries, gentle Ruby or officious Maggie to type up.
Among many other things, she handled estate planning for wealthy clients that included - Garry Glitter, Richard O’Brian and Timothy Spall as well as a smattering of landed spinsters...Her Richard O’Brian stories were the best as he used to arrive in her office in kilts or tights but never wearing both at the same time.
She was the first female partner in her firm... By the time she retired in 2001, she had been there for over 35 years... They threw her a party at the Savoy to thank her for all those years of service.
Growing up, she was more than just my mum... She was her own person... She showed me the importance of never having to rely on someone else financially and that you can have both - you can have a successful career and you can be a mum.
No doubt she juggled all the things I’m doing now… but I never once felt that she wasn’t there for me no matter what.
Now she’s Grandma Steffi… but to me, she is so much more than that.. yes, she is my beautiful mum, my emotional rock but mostly she is my unfailing inspiration.