“My Mom’s life bumper sticker is definitely: Ask forgiveness, not permission! She’s unapologetically bold in every way—I get my sass from her.”
Meaghan B. Murphy, Westfield. Executive Editor, Good Housekeeping; Chief Spirit Officer, Bestfield

“Whenever my mom is around, no matter where we are, it feels like home. Even as a grown woman, one hug from my mom can dissolve my stress and replace it with warmth in a heartbeat. She can pull a hot, delicious meal out of thin air as if she’s a culinary version of Houdini. She takes it upon herself to help in our very busy lives, and I don’t even have to ask. She’s taught me the importance of having confidence, working hard, being kind and most relevant of all, she was the first to teach me about the magnitude of love.”
Andrea Verdone Gorsegner, Middletown. Founder, Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer

“My mum is a caretaker of everyone she meets. We always had a full house of other people’s children. She taught me to be kind to everyone no matter who they were.”
—Katherine Mahony, Harding. Designer, Woman’s Bespoke Ready to Wear

“My mother taught me to work hard, love harder and live gratefully for family, good health and every blessing. She’s my best friend and I learn something from her every day about how to work on being the best wife, mother and woman I can be.”
Marisa Brahney, Scotch Plains. Emmy Award-winning TV host

“I learned that kindness and faith are keystones of life. These are lessons she learned from her mother, as well.”
Caitlin Rutkay, Tewksbury. Owner, C.R. Interior Designs

“I never understood how much my mother loves me until I had a child of my own. That’s when I realized that all the things she’d done that I felt took the fun out of everything were actually just meant to keep me safe and on the right path. It would’ve been easier for her to give in and be a ‘fun’ parent, but her example of not giving in to the easy way has given me the strength to be the mother my children deserve. She taught me that life is about choice and compromise, and that even though I may never ‘have it all,’ it was entirely within my power to decide whether I’d be happy with the blessings I had or waste time regretting the things I didn’t.”
Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Princeton. Author

“For as long as I can remember, my mother told me to be true to myself. It meant different things at different times, but as an adult I realize hearing it over and over again gave me permission to truly find my own way, which I could never repay her for.”
Andrea Samacicia Mullan, Summit. Founder, Victory Public Relations