My mother, Ida Alterman, passed over ten years ago. She was a hard-working seamstress and union organizer in the sweatshops in Manhattan. Here she is at age 21 in a photo taken in the garment business at Rosenblatt Frocks in 1938. A photographer came in and was taking a photo of only the men. Ever feisty and opinionated, she protested and stepped into the photo. She did alterations in our tiny apartment in the Bronx to make extra money. My father, Irving, worked three jobs to make ends meet. We always had family and friends visiting and staying in our apartment. I was usually displaced to the couch.
One of my mother’s accomplishments was being a matchmaker. She had an uncanny ability to make matches that resulted in marriages. My rule was that she could never, ever, ever do that for me. 
At a bar mitzvah in 1970 she fixed a dress strap for another guest she encountered in the bathroom. “Have I got a daughter! She’s a hippie type“ “Have I got a son! He’s a hippie type, too!” We both protested vehemently when they told us about each other. A year later, under protest, he called. We’ve been married for over fifty years and have a wonderful daughter, Molly, named for my grandfather Moishe, a shoemaker, who came from Pacanow, Poland. Unexpected good things can happen at a bar mitzvah. Thank you, mom. 
-Susan Hauptman