There came a time when Lutherville resident Marie True Evans found herself quoting her late mother from time to time. "As my mother used to say, ... " peppered her conversations.
They were simple but helpful truths her mother handed down to her six children - "orchids for the soul," as her mother's mother would have called them.
Evans found them comforting even as she repeated them, as if her mother were still speaking to her.
That led her to start writing down the things her mother used to say and to collecting the things that other mothers used to say.
Evans added her own pearls of wisdom to the necklace and pearls of wisdom provided by friends and friends of friends - from Meryl Streep to Barbara Bush, Betty Ford, Phyllis Diller and Natalie Wood - Robert Wagner wrote her a personal note.
The result was a book, "String of Pearls ... A Mother's Wisdom." Published this year by Graphics Management Press, it is available on www.gmbooks.com or at the Ivy Bookshop in Lake Falls Village for $17.95.
Evans dedicated the book "to all the mothers whose words of wisdom have offered us comfort and guidance through the days of our lives."
Most of the profits from book sales will benefit breast cancer research, she says.
Neither she or nor her mother suffered from it, but breast cancer has touched the lives of so many mothers and daughters and it is one of the biggest fears that women have.
"I used to ask my mother to come with me when I went for a mammogram," she says.
Evans and her husband, John, a retired real estate executive, are home grown - both are Towson High School alumni. But they have residences on both coasts to be able to spend time with their three grown children.
Her mother, Mary True, has been dead six years now. She had been a popular concert pianist when she was younger and charmed audiences at the Hunt Valley Inn and the John Eager Howard Room in the Belvedere Hotel well into her seventies.
"Mother, you've got to get a day job," Evans told her. So her mother charmed audiences by playing at Nordstrom in Towson Town Center when she was nearly 80.
But it wasn't her mother's musical legacy that struck a chord with Evans, a former Miss Maryland and professional dancer and actress who made a career as a fashion consultant.
Her mother may have been a fabulous pianist, Evans writes in the book, "but it is her wonderful words of wisdom that I hear in my mind. I find myself quoting her almost daily."