My mother was a talented singer, accompanist, teacher and director. She could make excitement and magic happen. My mom was always up for creating a show. And because she was able to play the piano by ear, she could make music on the spot without the need for written scores.
I was so spoiled growing up with my own dedicated vocal coach and accompanist. If my friends and I wanted to plan something special for school, my mom would jump in and help us make it fabulous. In 5th Grade, we even had the idea to produce our own version of "Peter Pan" as a school musical. We never knew we couldn't, because Mom made us look so professional. The music teacher at school loved her. She was always on call to accompany for any of Mrs. Richardson's choirs.
Growing up for me was kind of like living in a movie musical. I could start singing and my mother could get to a piano and instantly jump into the accompaniment. I didn't have to suspend my disbelief when watching a musical where the characters suddenly burst into song (with full accompaniment). That WAS my reality.
Probably her greatest talent was helping other people feel confident in performing. She taught many, many music lessons each week. Parents brought their children from great distances to be taught piano or voice lessons by my mother. She explained to me once when I complained that I didn't get any lessons that, "You're no daughter of mine if you can't pick it up on your own." She was right in a way. I got the benefit of hearing hundreds of lessons just by being in the house. (I did have trouble getting time to practice on our overbooked piano, though. I guess that's why I am a singer first because I always had access to that instrument.)