Monday, April 19, 2021

100% Lillian: A Centennial Celebration

Happy Monday and welcome to a very special week. This Friday -- April 23, 2021 -- marks 100 years since Lillian Marie Eisen (briefly Salomon*, then Sokoloff) was born. 

Clearly, we can't let an event of this magnitude slide by without notice! We're going to celebrate in style, with new Mom stories every day this week. We'll wrap up the 100% Lillian celebration with a gift from Mom to you on Friday, so stay tuned for that!

But now, our first story. Random acts of kindness are lovely, but Mom believed in planning ahead. 

The home Harry and Eva and I grew up in was a small three-bedroom, one-bathroom ranch. Like most folks in the 1960s, we had one phone, centrally located in the hallway dividing the living room from the bedrooms. 

Flashback for the young 'uns:
The phone was on a telephone table, much like this. 

Now, Mom loved to talk on the phone, but she had some friends who could talk for hours. And hours. While Mom didn't have the patience for that, she never wanted to be rude and cut them off to hang up. So, she developed a plan: When she wanted to escape the conversation, she would hit the wall by the telephone table three times. If Harry or Eva or I heard that triple knock, it was our job to run to the hallway and loudly proclaim, "Mom! I need you! I need you now! Can you please get off the phone?"

With that excuse, Mom could end the call without hurting anyone's feelings. 

Random kindness? Awesomesauce. Planned kindness? That's 100% Lillian. And we can all be a bit Lillian!

P.S. Look Up: Your Unexpected Guide to Good isn't all about Mom, but it certainly was inspired by her. I know, from the emails and texts and reviews, that the book has been a positive energy source for many of you during the past year, and that makes my heart happy. Is there someone you know who could use it? Buying a copy of Look Up -- or any encouraging guide -- for someone else is a lovely bit of planned kindness. 

* Yep. Mom was married to a dashing young man named Bob Salomon during World War II. After this fairly brief marriage ended, she met my Dad. I'll tell you that story tomorrow ... 

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