Mother’s Day is a special time to celebrate and cherish the special woman in our life who raised us. Audrey Gruss, the founder of Hope Fragrances, shares a very special bond with her mother as she extends her legacy into an everlasting fragrance and non-profit brand. Inspired by her mother Hope and her love for the beautiful scent of white flowers, Audrey Gruss started Hope Fragrances and Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF) to share this uplifting, floral scent, and help bring an end to depression. As we celebrate this wonderful holiday of Mother’s Day, Audrey Gruss shares her thoughts on what it is like to be a mother and her fondest memories of her Mother Hope.
Care for Others
How incredible it is to be a mother. And how challenging. A mother balances multiple roles such as wife, sister, daughter, and friend. She often has obligations to her employer, her religious group, her children’s school, her neighbors and more. But, when does she have time to honor commitments to herself? I often thought about this with my incredible Mother Hope. How loving she was to my sisters, our father and me. She dedicated her time and energy to ensuring that her daughters, her husband, her friends and indeed her entire community had what they needed even before she addressed her own needs. Her generosity and her selflessness were integral to her identity. This sense of dedication to the care of those around her is something that has always stayed with me and has inspired my lifelong philanthropic efforts through Hope for Depression Research Foundation and Hope Fragrances.
Her Enduring Impact
My mother was the glue that kept our family together. Even during her most difficult times with depression, her most important role was to ensure that her children thrived and were raised to become valued members of society. We were taught the importance of hard work and education, of helping others in need and always giving back.
Development of a Strong Woman
The strength of my mother was always there, although not always evident to me. As a young woman, my mother had many struggles which she faced with humor and grace, often so effortlessly that you didn’t know they caused her any trouble or pain. My mother Hope was a strong woman, and she taught my sisters and me to be strong as well. My sisters and I do our best to emulate the strength and resolve that she so elegantly displayed.
My Mother’s Greatest Accomplishment
My mother’s greatest accomplishment rests in her daughters and all those who survived her. The memory of her struggles drives each and every one of us to help others, to strive for a cure for depression and remove the stigma associated with it. My mother’s greatest gift to us—her family and friends—was her humanity. It was her tenacity and pinpoint focus. In her life and in her death, my mother gave us clarity of purpose. Consequently, I aim to fight this disease by supporting education and research, and increasing awareness of its debilitating symptoms. Depression is an illness that chains the spirit. I resolve to break those chains and find a cure.
A Life Renewed
My mother’s loss is still as painful for me today as it was the day she passed away. You always regret not having one more conversation, taking one more stroll through a lovely garden, reflecting on her youth, her dreams and her loves. I vowed to find a cure for depression—an illness that curtailed her beauty, her light, and her vivacity — that restricted her own contributions to the world. Her loss was painful to me but also gave me renewed energy and purpose. I reject despair and embrace hope for the millions who suffer every day.