I Am My Mother’s Daughter
As Mother’s Day approaches, I can’t help but think about my fabulous mother and how she has guided my life. I may live bi-coastally, but my mom is always with me because, in most ways, I am my mother’s daughter!
Reflecting on how we differ, I think it is important to take from our mothers what we love about their persona and toss aside what we don’t embrace. And I have.
My mom and I differ in three ways. She is very critical because it is her way of showing she cares. I am not at all critical, and I care just as much! She is the trunk of a tree, hard to bend. I am a pliable branch who sees the whole picture.
She is not as sentimental. I cherish each little present, placing them on my memory shelf. She showers me with love and words of advice. I shower my daughters and daughter-in-law with love, hugs, kisses, and advice…when asked!
The Mother-Daughter Relationship
The mother-daughter relationship is complicated. Most all of them have hills and valleys. Mine is no different.
My mother was powerful and controlling, and I was not a shrinking violet by any stretch of the imagination. That is not to say that I was disrespectful. I honored my parents. I just had my vision of who I was. My mother, on the other hand, had her idea of who I should be!
As I matured into adulthood, I was sure I was not a clone of my mother. I was my own woman. But as it turns out, at my mother’s ninetieth birthday party luncheon, with fifty women in attendance, including her friends, granddaughters, nieces and my darling daughters-in-law, I realized that I am my mother’s daughter in more ways than not.
My Mother’s 90th Birthday
We sat at one long table upstairs in a private dining room at Gibson’s, a favorite restaurant in my beautiful Chicago. My mother and brother sat at one end and my husband, Shelly and me at the other.
I glanced at the setting, and I could not make up my mind what was more beautiful, the gorgeous flowers down the length of the entire table or my mother’s friends from ages eighty-eight to ninety-six!
As lunch progressed with abundant laughter and chatter from everyone permeating the room, I decided to stand up and ask each of the women to tell a story about my mother.
I sat listening intently as her girlfriends and our family told stories about my mother and her life. I realized through those stories I was so much like my mother. “Why did this revelation take me so long,” I asked myself, as I sat listening.
I think it took so long because so many stories hit me at once and they just fit into ‘a small book’ in my mind, and the full story and picture of my mother suddenly came to light!
When it was my turn, the last to speak, I stood up and said, toasting my mother with a glass of champagne in hand poised directly at her: “I AM my mother’s daughter!”
My mother stood up and toasted me, “Your toast is the best toast a mother can receive from a daughter.”
I remember my eyes flooding with tears of joy, and I felt such deep love and respect for ‘this mother of mine.’ I remember saying a little prayer to myself, “God, bless my darling mother and keep her safe and in good health.”
My Mother Today
My mom is now ninety-seven and has weathered so much in the past several years. She has suffered from a broken hip, requiring two surgeries, a broken wrist, and almost choked to death! She should not be alive, but alive she is! And God is granting my prayer.
The other day, I said to her, “Mom, you are a sage dripping with advice. Would you share your wisdom with my Honey Good readers?”
“This will be fun,” she replied. “I would love to!”
I asked her questions on several topics but did not have to write them down because they are all stored away neatly in my head. After all, I am my mother’s daughter!
A Mother-Daughter Q&A
Here are my questions followed by her replies:
“Mom, give me your advice on what gives a woman her style.”
“The basis of style is being able to understand who you are and how you want to represent yourself. It is a combination of many things.
For instance, it is ‘your look’ that sets you apart from everyone else, your taste in books, your taste in female friends, your taste in a home, it is your values, your joy in life. As you get older, dear daughter of mine, don’t be afraid; move with grace and expose your wisdom.”
“What about gossip among women, Mom?”
“If you tell one woman a secret, it is no longer a secret!” She replied with a twinkle in her beautiful blue eyes.
“Mom, what if you know people are talking about you?”
“That’s an easy one! If people are talking about you, you know you are interesting!”
“Mom, sometimes our children disappoint us. How do we deal?”
“This is an old saying, but a true saying: One mother can take care of ten children. Ten children cannot take care of one mother. You give your children their roots and then their wings. It is the progression of life.”
The Wisdom Didn’t Stop There!
“Mom, what is your philosophy on friendship?”
“Have women friends from all walks of life. A clique becomes a bore. And, don’t expect from most and you will not be disappointed.”
“Mom tell me your secret on aging beautifully.”
“I exercise my mind; not my body!”
“What about skin care, Mom?”
“Use olive oil on your skin. Stop with the facelifts! You cannot hide age. Your lines show your life, your persona. Smile!”
“You and Dad had a wonderful marriage. What do you attribute this to?”
“You know what I told you when you were to become a bride; a woman makes a marriage. Those five words are worth their weight in gold, in more ways than one!!”
“Mom what do you attribute to your longevity?”
“Sometimes I wish it was not so long!! I suppose it may be my lack of fear and my love of laughter. And you! You keep telling me, “MOM, I NEED YOU!”
I did not answer, but instead, just smiled. I got out of my chair, wrapped my arms around “this mother of mine” and whispered in her ear, “I do need you.”
She looked at me with her twinkling blue eyes, kissed me and said, “I need you more.”
We shared a smile, in the unique way that only Mothers and Daughters do.