Montag, 6. Juli 2020
How do I give my daughter what my mother gave me?
by Liz Climo

10 years after my mom died, my daughter was born. I thought I'd reached the bottom of my grief. I was wrong. […]

She left us too soon, but she left her children with the memory of being loved unconditionally. I realized the best way to honor her memory was to find a way to love myself that much, even in her absence. What an incredible gift that has been.

Ten years after she died, I welcomed my own child into the world. I thought I'd reached the bottom of my grief, but found I was actually sitting on a mountain of feelings I didn't even realize were there. Initially, I was just angry. Angry that this new person would never get to know her wonderful grandmother. Angry that I couldn't pick up the phone and ask my mom how she handled this or that. I wanted her to say to me, "You used to do that, too! You were such a pain in the ass." I missed her levity, I missed her love. I just missed her.

When I was done feeling sorry for myself, I started feeling something new: panic. How do I give my daughter what my mom managed to give me? Can I? My mom was so much fun. She'd sing with us, and dance with us, and bake with us, and laugh with us. Am I fun? Sometimes I think I am. I'm usually the first person on the dance floor, but I'm also the first person to leave the party. I hate baking; it's too messy. I hate a messy house and I can't cope with chaos. Our house growing up was the definition of chaos: always filled with people, and always a disaster. As a kid, I loved that. It felt so warm, easygoing and comfortable. Could I be easygoing like that, or does our house feel sterile? Do I have the warmth she had — the warmth that made me feel so loved? Will my daughter feel as loved as I did? […]

Like me, I'm sure she had her doubts about whether she was going to screw her kids up somehow. Still, to me, she was perfect, and the reason for that was simple: She made a conscious choice to get to know me, to connect with me, and to always make me feel safe and loved. That's it. In a way, it's the easiest thing in the world to do as a parent, but on the other hand, it's easy to forget since we put so much pressure on ourselves to do everything right all the time.

I'm not sure if it's having a child of my own or just getting older and learning more about myself, but every day I feel like I'm getting to know my mom in a new way. I still miss her so much, but I feel like she's still here with me. When my daughter is kind, I know that in a way her kindness started with my mom. She's always the first to notice when another person feels sad, or scared, or lonely, and makes sure that person feels seen, just like her grandma did.[….]

I see all of these things in myself, and in my daughter — this lively, loving, charismatic little girl — and think to myself, "That's mom." I realize this, and I can almost see my mom smiling as if she were standing right there with me. And I smile too.

from: Liz Climo , Mothering without my mom: How do I give my daughter what my mother gave me? 10.5.2020, © 2019, LLC

Bild: MateoGranado |

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