The Levy ladies live in the same city and rely on one another for everything imaginable. Through Kari's continued struggle with health and Karyn's need for support in her business, the two have created a magical team. Neither the Karyn Collection (Karyn's retail store) nor Kari's successful career would be possible without their teamwork, proving that a strong mom-daughter connection can survive any turmoil.
"I grew up in a loving, close family unit until my mother suffered a mental illness that caused her to take her life 20+ years after onset. I always knew I wanted children of my own, but due to what I missed with my own mom, I thought two boys would be best for me. Then I gave birth to my best friend, who has shared her childhood, young adult experiences and wedding planning. She's allowed me to always partake in her joy, successes and even disappointments during her 30 years of life."
"My mom is my best friend, confidant and rock. She's there when I'm not feeling well and has helped me overcome childhood illnesses that have troubled me as an adult. My mom is proof that unconditional love and support for a child — an adult child — does exist."
"With her chronic health issues, even owning my own business, I did away with unlisted phones and put a cot in my store so that Kari could reach me and be with me at all times. We have laughed and cried together. She has brought me what I never had and always missed: a true mother/daughter relationship. From the joys of her first steps to her walk down the aisle, we've been a team… my dream team!"
"She worked when many other moms didn't — not because she had to, but because she wanted to — and did so with special arrangements for my illness. She set an outstanding example for me as a working mom who 'had it all,' instilling in me a strong work ethic, sense of self and the feeling that I could succeed in anything I put my mind to."
Carol now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Kate in Burbank, California, but this doesn't stop their continued encouragement, love and friendship. Marriage, children and a flower business later, Carol has been with Kate every step of the way, and Kate cherishes the role her mother has played in creating who she has become as an adult, which now includes the title "mother."
"Kate is my first-born and has always been by my side. Her father had a vegetable garden, and I had a flower garden. Kate insisted on her own garden. She was the one who picked the bouquets from the garden for Sunday-afternoon dinners. She is my confidant and friend. I always look forward to spending time with her family and watching her do her magic in her workroom. I feel blessed to have her in my life."
"My fondest memory as a child was assisting my mother. My help was probably more superficial than anything else, but she made me feel that I was more than just her daughter, but an integral part of the family that made it work so well. She always treated me as an equal, encouraging me to try grown-up tasks."
"I now know my daughter as a business owner and mother herself. I wonder where Kate's energy comes from? I try not to let a day pass without hearing her voice or emailing with her. I see the same glow in her daughter, Alice, that Kate had as a youth smiling back at me from the gardens. My heart melts when I see my granddaughter playing in the flowers and rescuing the stranded ants just as her mother did."
"I vividly remember planting pansies in my mother's garden, watching the trails of ants making themselves at home in the peonies, and picking armfuls of lilacs in spring from under the snow. I have many sweet memories like these that shape my floral business, FlowerWild. The greatest reward is when my mother joins Alice and me in the garden, and three generations all share in our love of flowers."
Jill and Amanda have always shared many common interests, from cooking and baking to basking in the sun on any warm island; the Gordons are a strong duo. The two are inseparable, providing mutual support and helping each other remain grounded and headstrong through life's challenges and career changes.
"When Amanda was born, it took us three days to name her. We didn't know when we chose the name that 'Amanda' means 'love,' but it is the perfect definition of her. A country song, 'Amanda, Light of My Life,' says it all. I have always been so proud of her hard work, compassion and accomplishments."
"From attending choir concerts, swim meets and sailing regattas to supporting me through breakups, job changes and difficult times, my mom has always been there to cheer me on and give me the encouragement I've needed. She has made me a more confident and driven person because of the values she has instilled and her belief in me."
"The fact that Amanda lives in our area is a blessing. We get together for weekly family dinners and cook together — our true passion. With spatulas flying, and flour and sugar all over our clothes, we have helped each other through fun times, sad times and life lessons. I feel lucky that we've always been close, and that we share interests in cooking, sailing, shopping and 'chick flicks.' I have always felt a void because of my own cold and distant mother; our close bond has more than filled that space."
"There's no question where my love for baking comes from: Some of my earliest memories are from the cooking and baking projects my mom let me help out with. I even had my own apron and measuring spoons. Today, the two of us still cook side by side while talking through any joy or challenge that has come our way. We love to embark on culinary adventures, support one another and enjoy our creations together."
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