A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

14 Heartwarming Stories That Prove There’s Nothing in the World Like the Mother-Daughter Bond

Tales of infinite mother-daughter love in 100-words or less.

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A new chapter

“Goodbye,” she sang cheerily, skipping off to her new dorm after giving me a light peck on the cheek as though we were no more than acquaintances. A young woman. A college freshman. No longer my baby. Her casual parting stung me. Had she outgrown me? As I walked away I was arrested by a child’s voice shouting “Mommy!” (A word I hadn’t heard in years.) Before I could turn around she was in my arms, her face buried in my neck. She didn’t need to say anything in that moment. I knew then that she’d always my little girl. –Jamie Larson, Atlanta, Georgia

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The scent of love

In the recesses of my closet, there is a bin filled with clothes. For years, I’ve been haunted by it, using that size as a weight-loss goal. One day, my 13-year-old daughter begged to raid it. Excited to save money on back-to-school outfits, I told her to pick a few pieces. She pulled out an old jacket and put it on. It was too big. I was just about to comment when she buried her face in the fabric and inhaled deeply. “It smells like you,” she said. I no longer care if I ever fit into those clothes again. –Alyssa Mayley, Dover, Ohio

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After moving to the country, my three-year-old daughter and I were often alone in our house. Because we lived in a rural area with no close neighbors, I wanted to make sure my daughter would be able to call 911 in the event that something happened to me. After instructing her, I decided to test her: “Okay, what would you do if you found me on the floor and you couldn’t wake me up?” I could see her little brain working and to my surprise she said, “I would go into the kitchen and eat anything I want.” –Laura Albrecht, California, Kentucky

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The power of perfume

My daughter Anne’s September departure involved a flurry of all things new and two cars full of her anticipation of college life two hundred miles away. Our house became strangely quiet, but phone calls but email kept her close. However, in late October a student wearing Anne’s favorite perfume came into my office at the college where I work. When she left, I had tears in my eyes. Until that moment I hadn’t realized just how much I missed my daughter. Twenty years later, a whiff of that special scent brings back that special autumn and Anne. –Kay Mills, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

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Reunited by Mom

While shopping, I noticed a credit card on the floor. I picked it up, went to the courtesy desk and asked them to page the owner. I waited. No one came. They said that her cart was still there and she had gone to her car to look for her card. When she came back, I asked if she had lost something. I asked her name and established that it matched the card, which I then gave her. She said she had prayed to her mother, who had passed away recently, to help her find the card. We talked and I introduced myself. “My name is Claire,” I said. She responded, “My mother’s name was Claire.” –Claire Salem, New City, New York

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Who’s the tooth fairy?

My favorite moment raising my children happened while tucking my daughter into bed. Jeanne told me she went to the nurse’s office that day with a classmate who had just lost a tooth. Unfortunately, the nurse said, “You know, your mother is really the tooth fairy.” My daughter looked up at me and asked if that was true. I said, “Yes.” Then, ever so innocently, she asked, “How do you fly around to all the houses?” —Maryann Zacchea, Sandy Hook, Connecticut

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The rhythm of life

It was the first anniversary of our only daughter’s death. Jillian had died of cancer at three-years-old after a grueling series of treatments. My husband and I had decided to spend the weekend at a bed and breakfast because it was too painful to stay at home. I awoke to the sensation of being shoved out of bed. The message in my head, “Take a pregnancy test. You’re pregnant with my sister.” I did. I was. We named her Cadence to remind us to return to the rhythm of life. Name –Sylvia Johnson, Tampa, Florida

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A trip from Mom

We were feeling gloomy a week after my mom’s funeral. She’d passed away from Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Suddenly, the phone rang; it was our priest. “You’ve won our raffle – a vacation to St. Maarten!” Suddenly, I remembered that a few days after Mom’s passing, I found an envelope on her desk. In her beautiful handwriting, it said, “Return to church by November 17th.” Inside were tickets for the church raffle. Honoring Mom’s wish, my father and I dropped them off at church the next day. I told Father this. He hesitated and said, “It’s a gift from your mom.” –Sharon Bette, Southbury, Connecticut

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Dress shopping

We went looking for a wedding dress on Sunday. Laughing, we made for the door of a bridal shop. This would surely be the first of many stores before we found the perfect gown. Having witnessed other brides and their mothers, we vowed to be happy in these moments. Unexpectedly, my mind went back to the day we brought her home some 27 years ago. I said a silent thank-you to the young mother who, by letting her go, allowed her to be mine at this precious time. Two hours later, there she stood, in the dress of her dreams. My beautiful girl. –Marybob Straub, Smyrna, Georgia

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Lessons in motherhood

Don’t let her sleep in your bed.” That’s what I heard over and over after my daughter was born. So I didn’t, unless she was sick. Now my baby is almost six, and every night, after we read and sing songs and turn off the light, I lie down with her before she falls asleep. We whisper to each other, and I watch her eyelids start to flutter. I smell her hair and kiss her forehead. And I wish I had done this every night. –Suzanne Cifarelli, Albany, New York

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Pennies for candles

When I was a child, during the Great Depression, my mother sent me to the store to buy candles because our electricity had been turned off. I gave the clerk in the store my pennies for the candles, and he sarcastically said, “Didn’t pay the electric bill?” I held my head up high and replied, “Of course we did, but we want to have dinner by candlelight tonight.” I still laugh when I recall our “candlelight” dinner and the look on the clerk’s face after my retort. We didn’t have much money, but we had pride. –Jean Smidt, West Milford, New Jersey

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A stand up woman

My mom had a great sense of humor and a knack for making everything fun. One thing that resonated with me, even as a small child, was how much she seemed to enjoy her own company and found ways to entertain herself. As a kid, I remember her giggling while paying bills. What was so funny about bill paying? She would put humorous notes in the reference section of the check: For the electric bill, she might put “You light up my life,” and for the mortgage she’d write “Four shingles closer to owning it all.” –Robin Hynes, Slingerland, New York

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Memories in verse

The day I was dreading had arrived—it was inevitable. I had seen it coming but had chosen to ignore it for as long as possible. My very capable, intelligent mom had started forgetting to pay her bills, and it was time to take over her finances. As I looked through her wallet, I made a remarkable discovery. Tucked away in a tiny compartment were four Mother’s Day poems I’d written for her in the 1960s. She had saved and cherished those simple gifts for 50 years. What a happy surprise! –Pat Witty, Fairmont, Minnesota

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Just one question

“I was chosen to be your mama,” I tell my four-year-old daughter as my younger boys pull at my clothes. She looks at me tearfully and asks, “Why couldn’t I grow in your tummy like my brothers?” “Well,” I tell her, choking back my own tears, “The doctor said I couldn’t grow a baby in my tummy, so your daddy and I decided to adopt a baby. That baby was you.” I hold my breath and wait for a more difficult question. “Can I have some ice cream?” she asks. “Yes!” I say, thankful for her innocence. –Katina Brown, West Monroe, Louisiana