I remember the exact moment I stopped trying to be like my mom. I was 16 years old. I cut off my long curly hair into a slanted bob, bought ripped jeans with pins in the sides and shopped for vintage jackets in thrift shops. It’s not that I thought this look was really me, it’s that the long flowered skirts, black pumps and my moms sweaters that I would sneak from her closet did not go over well at my high school.
28 years later, I found myself wandering into my moms favourite store. I noticed all the older ladies shopping and I almost turned and walked out but something inside of me said “there is something I want to give you” and I started pulling dresses off the wracks until my arms were full. I tried them all on until I stood for a very long time staring at the woman in the mirror.
This. This is my mother. I am becoming. Her.
I took the long black black dress with the white ribbon waist home and hung it carefully in my closet whispering “thank you” because not only am I back home in the city my mom raised me in, but I am back to being the girl I always wanted to be. The girl who wanted to be just like her mom.
They say we become our mothers. To that I say, I will never be as good as my mother. She was and is the most lovely woman I’ve ever known. But as long as I live, I will try to get as close as I can. And for as long as I live I will look for her in everything. In dress shops. In churches. In the faces of my children. In warm summer breezes and in cold snowy doorways.
I love you mom.