My Mom Is My Twin, My Role Model, And My Best Friend

My Mom Is My Twin, My Role Model, And My Best Friend

What would I do without her?

Ever since I was very young, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has told me how much I resemble my mom. Whenever we both walked into a room, people would automatically know that we definitely had to be related, and would even say that I was an exact replica of her.

She's even told me countless of times herself that I must blind to not see our similarities, which is basically to a point that we could pass as sisters, or even twins. And even to this day, I sometimes still can't even see it.

There's no doubt that my mom and I have become inseparable and even best friends.

We've shared amazing memories together, from going on vacations and trips together all over the world, to spending Monday nights on the couch watching "The Bachelor" and gossiping about who we thought wouldn't get a rose and make it to the next round.

She loves hearing about my college experiences and stories, and is always willing to being open and trying new food trends with me. We've spent so much time together that we often sometimes are thinking the exact same thing or can finish the other person's sentence. So even though one might say we're twins due to how tied at the hip we are, I don't see how I resemble the pure amazingness that she truly is.

Yes, we might have the same eyes or the same facial structures, which has already taken me so long to admit. But I am nowhere close to how awesome and inspiring my mom is.

From shadowing her over the past 19 years, I've learned so much about this amazing woman. She works endless hours to make sure everyone is happy and satisfied, which sometimes means sacrificing her own time to make this possible.

Positivity is always radiating from her aura, where she holds the mindset that she can achieve anything if she believes she can. It's also clearly evident about how driven she is about her work, where she makes it her goal to follow her passion and pursue what she loves doing, even if it might not bring her instant success.

My mom has become my role model, because she is the most dedicated and loving person I know.

She leads her life with a positive smile, and makes every day the best it can be for her and everyone around her. I know that if I ever need guidance or help, she will be there for me in a second.

And whenever she doesn't see all of these amazing qualities about herself, it hurts me inside knowing that she's not aware of how big of a difference she's made to me and many others in her life.

Even in her moments of weakness, I still see her as the strongest woman I know. Like anyone else, she has experienced many challenging and difficult moments in her life, where it would've been easy for anyone else to give up and walk away.

But even if she doesn't recognize how strong she truly is, I have seen her time after time instantly get back up on her feet and find a solution on how to work through the pain, and most importantly, accept it as a way to move forward.

She uses the scars of her past as a way to show everyone that she is unstoppable and determined to keep living her life the way she wants to, by pursuing her passions and surrounding herself with positivity and the people she loves.

And even if accepting her hardships might be challenging and something she still sometimes struggles with internally, she still pushes through each day with a smile and an optimistic outlook.

Shadowing her for 19 years has made me wish that I could be my mom's twin, even though I didn't want to admit it when I was a young and stubborn kid. I might easily resemble her in physical attributes, but there is no way I am as strong as she manages to be.

One day, I can follow in her footsteps and lead my life with the same principles and strengths that I have witnessed her do on a day to day basis from the countless hours that I've spent with her.

So here's to my best friend, my twin, the strongest and most beautiful person I know, the kindest soul, and the most loving mother that I sometimes don't even deserve. Thank you for teaching me everything you have so far, and for inspiring me to be the strongest and greatest version of myself, even though I might not believe in myself due to my own challenges.

Hopefully I can apply everything that I've learned from you to my own life and be as amazing as you are.

Cover Image Credit: Ashley Britton

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I Was Raised By A Single Parent, And I’m Better For It

Being raised by a single parent does not have to be negative, I am grateful for being raised by a single parent!

National Single Parents Day is March 21st, and my single parent experience benefitted me.

Being raised by a single parent has become normal in today's society in America. Whether it is a mother or a father raising their child, being a single parent can sometimes be straining on both the parent and the child. The nature of the relationship is what depends on whether it will be a positive or negative impact. My single parent's experience has been a positive one.

For me, my parents divorced when I was 9 months old; therefore, I never actually had to experience the process of divorce. I am grateful for that because I know that is hard. I am also grateful that my single parent was not actually just a single parent. Both of my parents are in my life, but my mom primarily raised me.

Being raised by a single parent made me be grateful for the little things. It also taught me not to be bitter towards families that are still together. I know me, my mom, and my dad is much happier the way we are rather than forcing a marriage and having unhappy parents that would fight all the time. Both of my parents have remarried and are happy with their marriages.

I was extremely lucky with how my parent's divorce was. Both of my parents love me and want the best for me. Being a single parent was hard for my mom, and I saw the effects it had on her. She worked her butt off to make sure I had all the tools in life to make sure I can be successful. I will forever be grateful for that.

My single parent situation has made my life have even more people who love me. For example, my stepdad's parents treat me like their own grandchild and that makes me feel so loved that they accept me into the family even if I am not blood.

Being raised by a single parent should not carry this negative attitude that was assigned to it by society. Yes, it does depend on your environment and how it is handled, but it does not have to negative.

Soooo Happy National Single Parents Day!

Cover Image Credit: Melissa Sherwood

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Happy Birthday, Mom

To the woman who helped shape the man I've become.


As I've already told you by now, happy birthday. I'm glad I got to spend the week leading up to it back home with you and Dad for spring break.

I could write pages and pages about what you've done for me. It would take endless articles to chronicle the ways in which you've impacted me and the man I've become, so this will only serve as a basic overview. Here's a statement to the world about how wonderful you are.

When I meet new people and they ask about my family, as they often do, I have a tailor-made story (that you already know) that explains your defining characteristic.

I tell them about the first real date I ever went on, in between my eighth and ninth grade year. You dropped me off at the park to meet my girlfriend at the time. You didn't stay long; you probably talked to her for about a minute or two. Then you left us to hang out while you were off somewhere else in the park. When you left, the first five minutes (no exaggeration) were just my girlfriend telling me how nice you were.

While I might have chosen a different way to begin my first date than hearing a soliloquy about your character, I can't deny that you were and still are one of the kindest people out there. You have one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know, and the level of kindness you show is something that I try to emulate.

It's the reason, I figure, why I'm following your footsteps into a helping profession. You were always so helpful for me, and as a counselor, I know you're helpful for others. For as long as I can remember, I've felt that same love.

Your compassion came in handy for me many times, as I could be a pretty sensitive kid. More stern parents might have, for example, told my fifth-grade self to stop crying while I was waiting for the bus and to just get used to middle school (fair point though - middle school can be a scary place for a kid). You and Dad, however, opted to come throw a baseball with me at the bus stop so that I would be distracted and have a good start to my day.

When I've had my heart broken or broken it myself with mistakes, you've been right there to validate and listen. You weren't always telling me what I want to hear, but you were being present.

I couldn't have had the successes I've had if not for you, either. Consider football, for example. I never would have been an all-state athlete or had the chance to play in college if you wouldn't have cooked me copious amounts of (mostly healthy) food in high school. You helped me go from a lanky 185-pound freshman to a bulky 250-pound senior lineman. Your excellent cooking made gaining that weight a lot easier; I didn't have to trust school lunches to do the trick. Your desserts also helped, of course.

You've shown me a tremendous amount of fight and courage as you've fought against cancer, ever since I was in high school. It never quite struck me as real, in part because even though you are soft-spoken, you present yourself with an incredible strength. My friends, when they find out that you have cancer, are always shocked – they comment that they would never have guessed. I know it's not easy for you; I know that it's probably on your mind a lot. But you (just like other survivors) have fought and battled with a quiet strength that I admire and that I'm not sure I could ever match.

You taught me so much more. You taught me to love the outdoors, what it's like to live on a farm, how to (temporarily) like country music, and to stand up for what is right.

You are a smart, strong, powerful, loving, sweet, beautiful woman, and I am eternally grateful to God that He made me your son.

I love you, Mom.

Your son,


Cover Image Credit: Harvey Family Photo

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