I have always been my fathers daughter. I popped out looking exactly like him. Big head and all. And as I've gone from baby to girl to young woman I still have his forehead, his eyes, and most people can look right at me and tell I'm a Becker. But as I've grown even older I pick up the phone and the person on the other end tells me I sound exactly like my mom. I laugh at something funny and it's her cackle. I run like her (unfortunately). I dance like her (unfortunately, again). I talk like her. I have her sense of humor, her mannerisms, her curly head of hair, her legs. And my response to, "You're just like your mother", is usually an "Ugh" or an "Oh God", as most daughters would respond. I really don't mean it, though. Because when I look past the little surface things, like her hair and her laugh, or the way she runs, I see that the parts of me that are pretty great, the things I do really like about myself, are also her.
Not too long ago I was in TJ Maxx shopping. I could over hear a bit of an argument happening by the fitting room, but carried on with my shopping. When I made my way to the fitting room I was immediately acquainted with the argument I had heard from afar. A woman and her two daughters were yelling at the fitting room attendant, a small old woman who spoke extremely broken English. A few things went through my head. That these three people absolutely sucked, that my fragile little heart was breaking for the frantic attendant, and that I was angry. Angry that this woman was being treated this way. I immediately went through a slide show of times in my head that my mom had stepped in when someone was being treated unjustly, when someone needed help, when something simply was not right.
I knew exactly what my mom would have done. She would have marched herself over there; put herself between the three women and the fitting room attendant and given those women a piece of her mind. I didn't quite muster up the courage to do that, although I would have liked to. Instead, I took a little lesser approach and when the women walked away I told the fitting room attendant that she had not done anything wrong and that the way she had just been treated wasn't right. I then made sure the manager knew that the attendant was in the right, in case the three women had complained. It was what I thought was the least I could do within my limits of courage. I felt good about what I had done, and as I drove home I couldn't help but realize that what I had just done was a piece of my mother. A piece, along with many other pieces, that she has given me through 19 years of exemplary actions.
I may be one of the most open and honest people I know. I'm an open book. Sometimes to a fault, I tell people exactly how I feel, what I am thinking, and what is happening. At times this turns into a big TMI, but my open and honestness has become a trait of mine I am very proud of and very thankful for. I haven't always been this way. Vulnerability is something that I have seen myself grow into. But without my mother as an example- of the way being open and honest with those close to you, and sometimes even those who aren't, makes life much easier and much more interesting- I probably wouldn't be this way. I would not be able to share my feelings with those that need to hear them, or share my problems with someone who can help me. Growing up, I watched my mom be open with others (also to the point of TMI) and also be open with me. As a result, I feel as if I can tell her anything, and when need be, tell others anything.
As I am one of the most open and honest people I know, my mom may be one of the friendliest. Growing up, and still to this day, my mom becomes friends with the family behind us at dinner, the person in front of us in line, the new neighbors, the old man who walks his dogs through the neighborhood, and what I admire most; a friend to anyone who may need one. My mom exists in this world as a friend. She is a good one. She is a really freaking good one. Not only to her best friend of 40 years, but to the woman at work who needs someone to talk to or the guy that talks too much but only because usually no one listens. She is the person that for some reason, people want to confide in whether they met her 30 seconds ago in line at the grocery store, or have known their whole lives. It is often now that I notice myself reaching out to the person who looks like they might need a friend, allowing someone to simply use me as an ear, and looking at the long standing friendships of my mother as inspiration for the friendships in my own life. Being a friend, I might argue, is one of the most important things you can be in this world, and I am forever thankful that I have the best friend there is to learn from.
This really isn't about me. I did not set out to ramble off my best qualities. This is about my mother and the pieces of me I can attribute to her. Just like my mother, I stand up for what I know is right and for anyone who may not think they can. Just like my mother, I am vulnerable. I am open and honest for myself and for others. Just like my mother I am a friend, and I would like to believe that most of the time I am a pretty good one. As the cheesiest of cliches puts it; all that I am, I owe to my mother (and of course a good bit to my father). Curly hair, cackle, funny running and all, and for that I am eternally grateful.
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