Affectionately known as ‘Nornie’ to her close friends and family.
My Mother was an identical twin and as close as 2 peas in a pod but my Mother was also one-of-a-kind.
It was from my Mom that I got my sense of design and love of décor. My Mom had a passion for decorating and keeping a beautiful home.
In my parents very first home my Mom painted the living room’s 5th wall (ceiling) red to coordinate with her new crimson red curved sofa. Ground-breaking.
When my Mom was expecting their first child my parents moved to the suburbs – a larger home for their 4 children (born within the next 5 years) and more space for my Mom to decorate.
When we were very young my Mom enrolled in night school to take an interior decorating course. I remember my Mom’s design boards with little swatches of fabric, carpet and paint. She loved attending this course even if it meant leaving my Father at home with 4 small children – and even if it resulted in my Father doing a quick trip to the hospital emergency unit with my brother who needed stitches after falling on the fireplace hearth!
My Mom made her design choices slowly and meticulously. Whether it was the fabric choice for the new sofa or drapery, the shape of the custom built kitchen table, the pattern of the wallpaper for the new feature wall or the paint colour of the garage door, my Mom made her decisions carefully. Mom decorated on a budget but her home indicated otherwise.
My Mom was aware of trends and the latest in décor but chose the classics. I grew up with mahogany, wools, silks, cotton damask, Louis XlV and gilded furniture. Mom took me shopping to fine furniture stores like Eaton’ s Gallery of Fine Furniture, we visited art galleries and she taught me how to identify different fabrics.
I fondly remember my Father every few years saying to my Mom, “Well Nornie, it’s time for a new car, what colour shall I order?” My Mom liked to coordinate the car with the colour of our home’s exterior!
Unfortunately my Mother never met any of her 11 grandchildren or got to retire with my Father. And she never got the pleasure of helping her children decorate their homes.
Twenty-seven years ago today my Mother lost her battle with Cancer.
I miss you Mom.
Missy, what a lovely tribute to your mom. She truly was a very special lady! I will always remember her sense of style…from the plush, off-white carpet in the living room (always so clean and rich looking), to her dining room set and Louis arm chairs in the living room. Nornie would spend weeks deciding on a special purchase…never impulsive! I was weeping by the time I finished reading your blob! Amazing childhood memories with all of you…the numerous birthday and Christmases spent together celebrating! Paige recently asked me if I had sleepovers as a child with my friends. And I said “No, we had our cousins!” Just yesterday, I found and posted as my computer background a picture of my 4 siblings…looks like a First Communion for Paul (Laurie is holding a statute). I was logging in to my computer to send it to you this morning when I opened your blog with the beautiful pix of Nornie and her babies! So coincidental!! I almost fell off my chair…you and I do have a six sense like the twins!! Nornie would be so proud of you and your accomplishments. Always keep her close to your heart when you are decorating/designing for yourself and others! Anyhow, thanks for sharing this beautiful blog and tribute to your Mom!
A touching post.
Thanks – truly a wonderful design mentor.
A beautiful tribute, Michele. It gave me an unexpected moment to pause and reflect upon some pleasant memories. Thank you.
My mom died almost 25 years ago — from cancer as well — and there’s rarely a day that goes by when something doesn’t remind me of her. We never stop missing them do we? Is that you on the far right? We had a fireplace just like that one!
We never do stop missing them but fortunately we have our lasting heartfelt memories.That is me on the far right – the photo was taken on Christmas Eve just after my mother had bathed us all. That fireplace was the location for many photo ops throughout the years.
what a lovely way to share such special memories and history on an important day. Sending you my love today. xoxo
Your love was received, thanks!
What a lovely tribute! And how fortunate you were to have had such a wonderful Mom!
Well, dear girl she lives on in you! And in knowing you, we are all blessed!
Thanks for sharing such special memories of dear Nornie. I even learned some new gems about her, like the avant-gard red ceiling. Just goes to show that time passes–27 years, I can’t believe it!–but memories do live on. You are doing her proud.
Has it really been that long? Your mom was always smiling and impeccably dressed, like her home, and we loved the times we got to spend together when we were all growing up. Thanks for the reminder, cuz, and how is Irene? Merry Christmas to you all!!