I am My Mother’s Daughter

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Mothers and daughters have a tumultuous relationship. It is a tight bond, sometimes so tight that that bond is taut with tension, friction bubbling under the surface. They’re connected. We’re connected by an out of this world bond. No one can love you like your mother; no one can hurt you like your daughter.

It’s a symphony which nears a crescendo as the daughter nears her independence. We want our mothers to be proud of us. We want our daughters to appreciate us.

There are so many quotes that resonate with me. One of them is this:  “By the time you realize how wise your mother was, you have a daughter who thinks you know nothing.”

The mother daughter relationship can be redemptive. Some are filled with breakouts of rebellion. Trying to be as different from their mothers as they can be. But something happens when a daughter becomes a mother. Especially of a daughter. A daughter that mirrors her image.

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It all starts making sense. You feel the heartache she must’ve felt when you didn’t make whatever it was that you were trying out for. You feel the pride she must’ve felt when you accomplished whatever it was that you were working so hard for. You feel the hurt she must’ve felt when you let her down. You feel the love she must’ve felt no matter what you did. Unconditional love.

No, no one can love you like your mother.

And no one can hurt you like your daughter.

But you don’t care. That love outlasts any hurt. If you’re lucky enough, you get to the stage where you can become friends.

The daughter realizes she is her mother’s daughter, and it makes her proud. She is thankful for all the times her mother spent praying on her knees, wringing her hands. She is thankful that her mother never stopped nagging her about what she should do with her life. She is thankful that she can count on her mother. When everyone else doubts, her mother still believes. Her mother forgives.

My mother has been fighting stage IV breast cancer for almost 5 years. I am thankful that she’s a fighter. When she was diagnosed, the doctors gave her 5 years. But I want more. I feel like I’m just getting to know my mother. She is no longer the one that I sucked the energy out of with my spoiled teenage nature. She is no longer the one that I fought to gain independence from. She is now my friend. And I need her.

We have the same laugh. The same smile. I don’t understand why sometimes God takes things away just when they’re getting good. She needs to see my children get married; have great-grandchildren.

And maybe she will. God can work miracles. He’s already worked a miracle in her life. In mine. You see, my mom lived her entire married life 675 miles away from her mother. Yet, they remained best friends.

I have lived my married life 1,011 miles away from my mother. There is a quote that says, “No matter near or far apart, a mother and daughter are close at heart.”

I don’t understand why the plan was for us to live so far away. I now have a daughter in college 406 miles away. And I realize that finding a job in her chosen career will be easier in that city. We may never live in the same city again. But I am at peace with that. I see how my mom and her mom beat the odds. My mom and I are beating the odds. I know my daughter and I can beat the odds too.

My mom has always been my biggest fan. She is the one who nagged me for years to go into teaching. And I ignored her and fought against her because it wasn’t my idea.

She is the one who has nagged me for years to write. And I put it off because I never quite believed in myself. Now I have two daughters, and I know how she feels. They are immensely talented, and I believe they can be successful at whatever their hearts’ dreams are. Believing in them has made me realize how much my mom has always believed in me.

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A gift of a mother’s love is priceless. In her eyes, we see what we can be.

Mother’s Day is tomorrow, and I’ve thought about writing this post all week. But I’ve put it off. I now know why. I’m crying. They are tears of regret. Tears of worry about the future. But they are also tears of thankfulness and awe. I am my mother’s daughter. And I am thankful.

 

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