In Honor of Helen Leora Jacox
Patricia Davis, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Davidson Hospitality Group
March 8, 2021
When thinking of all the formidable women in my life and all of those who have excelled, exceeded and accomplished, it is my mother I think of most when I think of women who deserve to be held in the highest regard and with the greatest admiration.
My mother, Helen, was born just before the beginning of World War II and was considered part of The Silent Generation; a smallish generation known for their incredible work ethic and strong character. My mother had these in spades; she was also witty, generous, had an uncanny ability to manufacture time and a will that simply could not be broken. She was pure magic to me and was the singular force that propelled me beyond what my circumstances dictated I deserved.
My mother approached my upbringing as if the opportunities for me were limitless. She seemed to have unlocked a secret that allowed her to transcend her own circumstances to see infinite possibilities for me. To her, the secret seemed to be a combination of a willingness to work hard for things you want, self-sufficiency and blind determination. She modeled this in her own behavior, as much as she could given the time and her own circumstances, and between words and actions, it eventually infected me.
When I was a teenager, my mother once told me, “You are all you’ll ever need.” Hearing those words made me feel like a stone sinking to the bottom of a pond and as light as a feather at the same time. I am all I need. So, it’s up to me. Whether I ultimately succeed at something or accept failure is my choice. And over time, those words freed me and became my mantra.
Hearing those words early on helped me to focus on achievement and not on circumstances that could potentially hold me back. It helped me draw on the strong work ethic and tenacity my mother engendered in me to relentlessly pursue goals and to ultimately, lead me here.
I often think of her and wonder what she would think of how I am doing and if she knows what an impact she’s had on my life. My mother has always been the wind at my back and the wings on my feet. Though I do not have a daughter of my own, I hope that I have influenced women in my life to live in the possibility and to feel completely competent and whole all on their own. That is her legacy and it is what keeps me forever looking forward.