A Strong Daughter

This is Megan. She's honest and loving and gets $h*t done.  In church, I like standing by her because her voice makes me happy.  And God gave her good hair--the kind you just want to touch to see if it's real.  It is.  A few weeks ago I invited some women in my life to share their thoughts on this blog.  (You can read more about my intentions here.)  Megan responded to the below quote, reflecting on her own relationship with her mom. I hope this quote and Megan's thoughts spur on reflections for you too! 

"If you want to understand any woman, you must first ask about her mother and listen carefully... the more a daughter knows the details of her mother's life--without flinching or wining--the stronger the daughter."  -Anita Diamant, The Red Tent

Strength. Something I have always wanted to be true of me.  So to be the daughter in this quote is appealing to me.  But if you were to ask me about the details of my mothers life, her story I would only be able to tell you a one sided story.  You see, my mother only showed me the good stuff.  The strength, the popularity, the socially skilled extrovert, the leader.  And everything else was hidden.  Oh sure, there were moments when it could no longer remain out of my view and I got glimpses of past pain and failure but they were fleeting and I was never invited in.

Over time, this taught me to keep me from showing my weaknesses to others. But that was difficult when my weaknesses were seemingly her strengths.  Her ease in starting conversations with strangers was a stark contrast to my inability to engage with those I didn't know.  Her stories of boyfriend after boyfriend was the lens through which I saw my own singleness.  And her ability to nurture and care for things was a glaring opposite to my independence.

It hasn't been until recently that I began to catch myself becoming my mother.  It's the curse of being a real adult. 

And while this realization is usually followed by me rolling my eyes and sighing, it has led me to realize that I was given more of my mothers story than I knew.  There are pieces of me that are a part of her that give me a more intimate view of her story than she ever could ever have told me out loud. 

Not only do I see that there is pain and rejection in her story,  I can feel it as I respond to my own pain.  And I can see the insecurities in her past as I see myself respond to my own. 

So ask me about my mother.  And I'll have to show you the inner parts of me. 


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