Any woman who has a close relationship with her mom knows the value of that bond, and that it can’t be overstated.
Mom is always there in childhood to clean your scrapes and bruises and kiss your tears away. The nurturing continues during those turbulent adolescent years, when she serves as a confidant and witness to your hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. And she’s there on into adulthood, celebrating achievements great and small, from a small raise at your first real job to the day you marry your life’s partner.
Nikki Pennington’s mom had always been that supportive person in her life, but sadly, she’s since passed away. Nikki was left feeling lost and adrift, especially in the midst of one of the panic attacks that had plagued her throughout her life. Her mom had always been there to talk her down, but now she was gone, and Nikki believed the words she’d used to talk her down had been silenced forever.
But then her husband revealed a secret he had kept for years. Nikki tells the story on her blog “Grief To Hope with Nikki Pennington” in her own words down below.
Anxiety has been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember. It’s been there for so long that I don’t really recall a time in my life without it. If you have anxiety, then you know you have that one person. The one person that knows just how to help calm you down in the midst of the anxiety fog.
That one person for me was my Mom. She knew just what to say, how to say it and the right moment to say it to help bring me back to reality. Her words and comfort were always stronger than my anxiety. I always just assumed she would always be there to be my person but that all changed…
It was a few weeks after my husband and I were married, and my anxiety kicked in, I said, ‘I have to call my Mom.’ He paused and said, ‘How about you talk to me instead? Just give me a try and see if I can compare.’
So I did, I gave him a chance to help ease my anxiety and it was as if I was talking to my Mom, it was as if I was talking to my person.
The calls to my Mom when my anxiety was in full force became less and less. She never asked why, never asked about it once.
That’s because Moms like mine are few and far between.
The day my Mom died I called my husband. I said, “My person is gone. The one that knew me and loved me with all my flaws. The one, the only one who could calm my fears, she’s gone.”
Then he began to tell me a story about my Mom. A story about her that I never knew before because she didn’t want me to know.
You see on our wedding day; my Mom gave my husband a note. A note that was just for the two of them. A note with the title that said, “How to be Nikki’s person.”
It was a step by step guide on what she would say and do for me when my anxiety was taking over.
Step 1: Just listen
Step 2: Listen a little more
Step 3: Don’t try and solve the problem
Step 4: Tell her you understand
Step 5: Keep listening until she’s sorted it out on her own. She will, she always does. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s had it figured out on her own all along.
My Mom gave up being my person not because she wanted to but because she wanted my husband to know how to be when she was no longer here. She gave up being my person so that she could make sure I would always have one, no matter what.
Well Mom, you will still forever be my person.
Losing a parent is always difficult, but the relationship between you doesn’t pass away along with them. It continues through memories, through their sage words of advice, and in all the loving gestures they made during their lives to let their children know their love will always guide and support them.
Share Nikki’s heartfelt story today.