My daughter Nicole wrote this for you


My daughter felt compelled to write it and felt like someone here needed to hear it and to share her experience.

Let her and I know what you think 🙂



Love is a very complicated thing. We show it in so many ways, all of us differently. Sometimes the way we show each other love doesn’t translate between us. The person I always had a hard time understanding the way she showed love was my mother. She didn’t hug me like my father did, or tell me she loved me like my father did, or spend as much time with me as my father did. But she always wanted to help me. And that’s how I knew she loved me.

My mom always did my hair better than I could. When I was littlest, she would sit me down on the bathroom sink and let me look at myself in the mirror. I was so entranced by my own reflection I wouldn’t notice each yank and pull of my unruly curls. When she was done she would hold me and tell me I looked like a princess. Then I would watch her do the same to herself, and she would look like a queen. I knew she loved me.

As if overnight this process became painful. Most days I wouldn’t let her touch my hair anymore. I wanted to brush it, I wanted to braid it. I am a big girl now. I didn’t need mama’s help anymore. I wasn’t so distracted by the mirror, I couldn’t sit on the sink anymore, and I would whine with every little tug. Yet, she was so patient with me. “If you don’t like it, you can take it out when I’m done,” She would say, but I never did. I knew she loved me. 

High school came faster than it should have, and suddenly I was begging for her help again. “I thought you didn’t like when I did your hair,” She would say, and my heart would break. I loved when she did my hair, I just didn’t love it back then. So once again, mornings were a time of peace. The bathroom mirror was a sanctuary we shared, and she took great care in our ritual. Being 13 is harder than anybody would like to remember, yet she was so patient. I knew she loved me. 

My mom always did my hair better than I could, until she taught me how. Alone in a boarding school dorm room, curling and tugging and clipping away each strand just like she showed me. I was too focused on boyfriends and bad grades to notice she wasn’t there. Now she stood alone in the mirror, no one’s hair to braid but her own. And so did I. When she would see me and tell me I looked beautiful, I knew she loved me. I knew she loved me. 

Adulthood is something no one should look forward to. I’m tired of doing my own hair, I want to sit on the sink, and let her do it for me. But she was too sick, in too much pain to do that. When I heard her ask her own mother to braid her hair, I cried. I cried all night because I knew that I would never be that little girl again, asking my mom for the butterfly clips instead of the bows. She asked me how it looked, and I said “beautiful,”. I knew she loved me. 

I watched my mother’s hands shake as she pulled stray strands away from her face. Her weak body balanced against the table and chair, her skin grey, her eyes distant. She was too sick to notice the tangled mess her hair formed while she slept. I asked, “Mama, do you want me to braid your hair?”. I stood behind her with a brush and hair tie and held back tears. If I could do one thing for her, it would be to show her love the way she loved me. I brushed her soft black hair, as black as mine, and braided it gently, just as she did. 

And when I was done she thanked me. Called me her sweet baby girl. And I knew she loved me. 

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