Always Tell Me the Truth, Because I will Always Love You
by Jacquelyn Ward
She would crouch down to my level, hold me in her arms and whisper “Always tell me the truth because I will Always love you.” At 6 years old I simply thought my mom was warning me not to fib. But now at 32 years old and a mother myself, my perspective has changed. I realized that these words meant so much more. Her words represented safety, unconditional love, trust, honesty, and moral values.
Essentially, these words encompassed the main tenets of a positive mother-daughter relationship. One evening as I played with her silky long hair, she murmured “always tell me the truth, because I will always love you” as she drifted off to sleep. I did not realize then that she was setting the foundation for a beautiful blossoming mother-daughter relationship that would provide the most love and friendship I have ever received.
The most important lesson I learned from my mother came to me very recently. My mother, diagnosed with Stage III Breast Cancer this past October, noticed I had become very distant. She walked over to me in my kitchen, wrapped her arms around me, and whispered “Always tell me the truth, because I will always love you”. The tears streamed down my cheeks. I cried “Mom, I need to be strong and supportive for you, but I just don’t know how."
That is when she whispered “Because you always told me the truth, I always know who you are." She wiped my cheeks like she did so many times before and said “Daughter, your tears come from your compassion and authentic love for me and that is supportive” In this moment I saw my mother physically frail, yet emotionally strong. Despite her suffering, she was consoling me. My mother simply wanted me to be my authentic self, the daughter she knew and loved. My honesty was good enough. My tears were good enough. No matter what, I knew she would always love me.
The long beautiful hair that I used to twirl between my little fingers was now gone. Despite the toll the chemotherapy was taking on my mother, she was a vision of the most beautiful mother on Earth. I learned then that the beauty of motherhood stems from sacrifice. After my mother’s visit that day, I laid in bed reflecting on what I had learned. My daughter, who is 3, curled up beside me and played with my long brown hair. I realized that being a mother is about sacrificing every part of yourself without hesitation to unconditionally love and comfort your child. I will live with this moment forever as it made me aspire to be as fine of a mother to my daughter as my mother has been to me. And as I started drifting off to sleep, I whispered to my little girl “Always tell me the truth, because I will always love you."
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