84: My Mother’s Daughter

84: My Mother’s Daughter

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Amazing Mom

My Mother’s Daughter

We must value life and treasure each breath we take. We must value each person and how he or she touches our lives every day.

~Shadonna Richards, A Gift of Hope

Last Saturday I attended a dear friend’s wedding and it was gorgeous, colorful, and so much fun. Many of my friends and family members were there, and as always, I spent much of the evening being told how much I was like my mom. Throughout the night, and particularly on the dance floor, I heard basically the same thing from everyone: “Oh, my gosh, Bridget! You are your mother’s daughter!”

I smiled politely and said thank you over and over again, but I wasn’t really feeling it. I suppose that’s because, despite my mother’s exceptional accomplishments and incomparable character traits, I have spent too many of my twenty-eight years focusing on everything she isn’t, instead of appreciating everything she is.

I have always loved my mom fiercely, but I haven’t always shown it in the way she deserved. I used to think I shied away from being “just like her” because she really bugged me. Now I think it was because, in my heart, I couldn’t quite appreciate her brand of pure goodness until I began to see how much I needed it in my life. I don’t regret one thing about our mostly-amazing-but-sometimes-a-little-shaky relationship. It is the realest thing I have ever known.

Sometimes, I assumed she didn’t understand me. I realize now, it was often I who misunderstood her.

Sometimes, I resented the perpetual positivity she prescribed for my teenage angst. I realize now she was teaching me resilience.

She is the most devoutly spiritual person I have ever met. She never tells me how to live, but she shows me all the time.

My mother practices the sort of kindness that softens people—the sort that I unsuccessfully try to emulate. It transforms stressful encounters into more personal, human-to-human interactions. She is arguably the best nurse in her hospital because she has the capacity to treat every patient with the same care she would provide to her own family.

Being “my mother’s daughter,” implies that I’m just like her? Never.

In fact, sometimes, during my adolescence, I thought of myself more as a “Daddy’s Girl.” And I unfairly used my mother as my emotional punching bag. I realize now that I did that because I knew she would love me anyway. I could rely on her steadfast support.

People like to say that once you’re a mother, you begin to appreciate your own mother. I decided not to wait that long. So, let me say boldly and for the record: I am so proud to be my mother’s daughter. We are, and always have been, the same in all the best ways.

Mom:

For all the times I rolled my eyes, I’m sorry.

For all the times I forgot to say it: Thank you. I love you. So very, very much.

~Bridget Chambers

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