It is with my most profound sadness and sorrow that I announce the passing of my mother, Harriet Annabelle Palmer DeLaney. She passed away Friday, Jan. 1, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. She had not been ill, but as Mother Nature creeps upon us all, you can just say that she died of old age.

You can also say that my mother lived a very good life. She was happy and healthy; had good friends and family who loved her; enjoyed doing all of things she wanted to do; had a successful career, loving husband, daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter and brother; and had a host of nephews and nieces to whom she always unconditionally gave her love and support.

A true Harlemite, mom could tell it like it is one moment and stand among royalty the next. She would get down with the get down while correcting your grammar and refining your manners. Well versed on all topics, of any category because, as she would say, “I read the newspaper,” she could engage in conversation on a wide range of subjects with a wide range of people. Her social circle spanned the spectrum. She could be found here one moment and there the next.

I always said mom had a good eye and impeccable taste. She was a globe trotter, and our home was always filled with interesting objects, such as statues from Haiti carved out of a single piece of wood, furniture, crystal, china, as well as a comfy sofa, colorful everyday plates and all of the creature comforts my dad and I needed.

She loved to play bridge and was a very good partner. Anyone who sat down at the table with her knew they were in it to win it, and more often than not, they did. Her other favorite sports were golf and tennis, though after she broke her leg running for that ball, she hung up her racket. When I was growing up, mom was always into something new. There was yoga, belly dancing, the Slim-Fast diet. She hosted theater parties, and for years, a Peking duck Chinese dinner every Chinese New Year in Chinatown, mainly because everyone loved to hear the gong when the waiters brought out the Peking duck, which was mouthwateringly delicious. There was never a dull or boring moment; my mother always had something cooking.

Speaking of which, she was an excellent cook. Everyone loved a party at her house or when it was her turn to host, as she would pull out all the stops with her culinary delights. You name the dish, at one time or other she had cooked it. And let’s not forget the desserts. It’s a wonder we weren’t all as big as a house. The cakes made from scratch for birthdays were the best. She would tell me that, when she was a child, her grandmother, “Granny,” did the baking, while her mother did the cooking. Granny always made her cakes from scratch, putting in a little bit of this and a whole lot of that. One day, my mother decided to sit down and watch Granny in the kitchen so that she could write down all of the ingredients and respective quantities. The tradition carries on, as I make my cakes from scratch, too, and though they taste good, they’re not as good as my mother’s. She had the touch.

Shall we talk about high fashion? No, let’s not. Because what can I say? Mom’s clothes spoke for themselves. Always stylish and dressed perfectly for any occasion with jewelry to match, that was my mom.

Her funeral is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 8 at 6 p.m., at St. Philips Church, 204 W. 134th St., between 7th and 8th avenues. The internment will take place Saturday, Jan. 9, with the repast to follow at Trinity Cemetery and Mausoleum, at 153rd Street and Riverside Drive, from noon to 3 p.m. I will post the obituary in next week’s column. In the meantime, I would like to share some of mom’s ‘isms’ with you. Here are a few of the things she always told me to remember:

  1. To thy own self be true.

  2. It’s a poor rat that only has one hole.

  3. Even when things seem their worst, they usually turn out for the best.

  4. This, too, shall pass.

  5. He’s not worth the salt in your tears.

  6. Save your money, don’t spend every dime.

  7. If you see something you want, get it.

  8. Decide what it is you want to do and do it.

  9. God bless the child who has his own (as everyone of her generation would say).

  10. Don’t be afraid to say yes. You never know where you’re next opportunity may come from.

  11. Don’t give up your dream for somebody else’s dream (actually it was my father who said that, but she agreed wholeheartedly).

  12. Mazel tov.

I love you mom.

Until next week … kisses.