My mother was a ballerina in her early youth. She was not happy with the perspective to retire early with nothing but the bone pain. She built a career in financial management instead, after getting a degree in finance. Now she is a CFO at a medical council of ~100 consulting doctors.
She had an infectious laughter, and was always fashionably dressed up in public. She worked long hours, building her career, and valued social status and financial independence the most.
My mom grew in a very friendly neighborhood in a center of a large city, with her older sister, her younger brother, her mother, and her step father, with whom she was in a deep ideological conflict - he faught the war against Nazis under the name of Stalin, and she was a true 60s kid who hated him, but loved Beatles, Bob Dylan, and was wild, according to her older sister.
She finished a school of visual arts and taught art later in life to a school kids for a couple of years, living abroad.
When she decided to marry my father, her neighbors gathered by the tables outside to make a plenitude of tiny silvery lurex roses for her wedding dress.
She loved her baby-brother, and protected him furiously. Once, she threw to the ground an older boy who was beating him.
On the photograph to the right she is in the middle, among street kids somewhere.
Her sister and mother told me that she had an explosive temperament and a relentless drive for fashion, which she kept throughout her life. She was always dressed up, and I almost never saw her without makeup.
My mom on the photograph on the right is with our magnificent Maine Coon cat when he was very young, he was truly a member of our family. I took and developed this picture when he was only a few months old (he became much bigger), I was 13 and just started serious photography. They are on my parent's luxurious Romanian wooden bed with mosaics.
I know my mother as strikingly practical but also very imaginative. When she would tell a plot of a movie, she would fantasize plenty of details and add surprising explanations, so that nobody could realize at first that they watches this film already.
My mother's ability to suppress some undeniable portions of reality always amazed me, but one major political issue in a sequence of other problems in our relationship became the final reason we stopped talking even occasionally years ago, except for short emails now and then.
On the picture above my mother is in Donetsk, where she grew up, in the first ears of university.
She was born in Novosibirsk.