queen esther

Cathleen Falsani 05-11-2012
Cathleen and Helen Falsani in 1973. Photo courtesy of the author.

Cathleen and Helen Falsani in 1973. Photo courtesy of the author.

“My mother... she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her.” ~ Jodi Picoult

When asked to describe my mother, Helen, my usual answer is: Queen Esther in espadrilles and a matching purse.

Esther comes to mind when I think of Mom because she was fiercely loyal, smart, determined, brave and deeply faithful. The sartorial descriptors capture my mother’s somewhat less spiritual side – always put together with a classic sense of style (although these days she leans more toward head-to-toe matching ensembles from Chicos and alligator flats, now that her penchant for wearing pointy-toed heels in the ‘60s and ‘70s have caught up with her poor feet.)

Mom has impeccable style and staggering grace, particularly in the midst of trials and tribulations. She is flinty (think Katharine Hepburn) and has an abiding, deep-in-her-DNA faith [think St. Therese of Liseux.]

Helen is a force with which to be reckoned and woe to you who would make the mistake of messing with anyone she loves.

Cathleen Falsani 06-30-2010

Dear Madonna,

Thank you. Earlier this week, after a month-long sojourn in Malawi, my family arrived home in California with our newly adopted son, Vasco Fitzmaurice Mark David Possley.

Jim Wallis 04-30-2010
Under the sweeping arches of the Washington National Cathedral, we celebrated the life of Dr.
Kathy Khang 03-08-2010

Hollywood isn't real life, but when real life (mine and the lives of the actors) and Hollywood converge it is great fodder for thinking and conversation. Peter and I can't stop talking about a recent date night movie, Up in the Air, starring Vera Farmiga and George Clooney.

Mimi Haddad 09-30-2009
Many people in Minnesota get really excited about fall. We welcome cooler weather, colorful trees, and a chance to share treasures from our garden.