Of course, I never actually remember my mother looking as she does in this picture taken years before I was born. What I do recall is her friendship. She had an odd capacity for it. I considered her my very best friend, but I know from the stories she told that she had managed to gain the trust of many of the people she had encountered in her life.
Her skills with people were not obvious. She exuded a kind of hauteur. She seemed distant yet girls and women, in particular, confided in her.
She had gained the confidence of battle-weary young women when she was stationed during WWII as a translator for the British. Her friendships were independent of our relationship.
Later in her “career” young women who aspired to acting would share their experiences, telling her their stories as she supervised their schedules as volunteer readers for the blind. They had faith in and valued her judgement. And although she was a great story-teller, their secrets were always safe with her. As they knew they would be.