At 15, as perhaps most daughters do, I remember thinking that I did not want to grow up to be like my mom.  I wrestled with those feelings for many years as we had had a tumultuous and strained relationship for my entire life.

At the age of 34 and while sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, I found an article that changed both my life and my perspective. In essence, it said, “don’t worry about becoming your mom – because you are not her – unless, of course, she is someone you want to become!”   Oh sure, I was going to inherit physical stuff like her chin, or her thighs, or the fact that there was no space between her ribcage and hip bones so that the belly had nowhere else to go but out – and perhaps, even her gray hair. But there was nothing to be done about those things – in those things, I had no choice.

But there are some things I did have a choice in.  And so, I chose to inherit – my mother’s strength – I chose to inherit my mother’s sense of humour, her courage, her resiliency, and tenacity. These are the things I choose to inherit from her.

Did the article ultimately change our relationship and make all things better?  Hmmm… not so much.  However, for me, there was an easing within myself that was physically felt. 

I loved her deeply – her family loved her deeply – and she, in turn, loved all of us deeply as she could – even if never telling us so.

Fay Leman