“On the darkest days, when I feel inadequate, unloved and unworthy, I remember whose daughter I am and I straighten my crown.” -Unknown
Jill (left) and her mother, Pat (right)
I’m Proud To Call You Mother
The Powerful Women Before Me
I used to get a vision as a little girl. It looked like a black and white class photo. Instead of children, the picture was filled with rows of women. I imagined they were my feminine ancestors going back generation after generation. The photo reflected struggles, dreams, and infinite wisdom–a sagacity that forever passed from mother to daughter.
I believe the mother-daughter bond never ends; it is infinite. The women in my vision are always with me. Their strength manifests in my own mother, and her strength manifests in me.
My Mother’s Humble Beginnings
My mother grew up poor next to a factory. The kind of poor where you get one pair of shoes a year. Mom went to work right out of high school. College was for the rich kids, not the ones who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. She dreamed of becoming a New York City Rockette. Instead, like many girls at the time, she stayed in her small town and married her high school sweetheart. The marriage didn’t last, and she ended up as a single mother of a little girl in the 1960s. She wasn’t exactly living the American dream.
As the years passed, my mom faced numerous challenges that would require her to summon strength from all of the courageous and resilient women who preceded her. Sometimes, it took longer than she would’ve liked, but eventually she always found her voice.
She Gave Me the Gift of Resilience
Although I may not have had the perfect mother, or agree with some of the choices she made, my mom gave me a priceless gift. I had the opportunity to witness fortitude and determination in the face of overwhelming circumstances. It wasn’t until recently that I came to know the unpenned chapters of my mother’s life. Knowledge begets understanding, and I’m proud to be my mother’s daughter.
Suggested Read: How to Build Your Resilience In Your Most Vulnerable Times
Anita Diamant wrote in The Red Tent, “The more a daughter knows the details of her mother’s life […] the stronger the daughter.”
My Strength Lies In My Mother’s Story
I believe my own strength lies in my mother’s story and in the untold stories of my grandmothers who came before her.
As you celebrate Mother’s Day, honor your mother by sharing her story, for embedded in her story are countless tales of courage and survival.
Happy Mother’s Day