I Am Because

To honor the role mothers play in shaping their daughters’ lives, we asked women to complete this prompt, “I am the woman I am today because my mother…” Here are excerpts from just some of the beautiful and heartfelt essays they shared with us:

I am the woman I am today because of my mother. Not simply because she gave birth to me, but because of her I am:
A childhood cancer survivor.
A feminist.
An activist.
A published author.
An outspoken woman who is comfortable in her skin because of the woman whose footsteps paved the way, my mom.

– Katie Strumpf

As far back as I can remember, she raised us with manners, grace, determination, and an amazing sense of humor. She’s the woman who had me setting a table by age 3, riding horses by age 6 and covertly placing pink flamingos in neighbors’ yards during the middle of the night by age 8.

– Caroline Stowe

I am the woman I am today because my mother has loved me unconditionally. She has given me the greatest gift in life. When you are deeply loved, you have a strong foundation for the rest of your life.

– Joyce A. Costello

Because of you, I can pause and appreciate my role not as a caretaker who schedules swim lessons and packs lunches, but as the caretaker entrusted with raising another young woman poised to take on the world.

– Holly Fisher

I am still a work in progress so perhaps I should change this title to “I Am Striving To Be The Woman I Am Today Because My Mother ….”
I strive every day to maintain the principles of humanity my mother lived throughout her life. Despite the challenges of upholding these high standards, I am inspired to become a better person through her example, and I know she is my guardian angel shining her light upon me and giving me the strength I need to perpetuate her ideals.

– Kathy Z. Mangione

Through every failed IVF attempt, through my and my husband’s loss of our naturally conceived stillborn son, and through subsequent miscarriages, I never had anything but my mother’s full support. And, most importantly, she continued in her unwavering belief that no matter what happened, I could and would come out on the other side stronger.

– Wendy Keefer

I am who I am because of the tenacious advocate that my mother was and continues to be.

– Deborah Bobo

In all her pain, through all her suffering, my mother was clearing a path for me. Her alcoholism created a sticky web I am still trying to free myself from. But this is where I have discovered myself. It was her suffering that paved the road for me to live authentically. I stand strong now because she couldn’t. She broke herself so I could be more. She suffered and ached her whole life so I didn’t have to. I am, simply because she couldn’t be.

– Libby Williams

I am who I am because she is strong — the kind of strong that walks one step behind me into the courtroom every time during one of the most difficult phases of my life, the kind of strong that buries her son yet somehow finds something to smile about each and every day.

– Amy Maciariello

I am a hard worker because you never worked. I hated that life. As a child, sitting at the welfare office begging for help, I promised I would never show my children that life. I would do whatever it took to provide a better life.

– Wanda Cavazos

I have come to learn that there is tremendous power in giving away the torch. My mother gave me a torch of courage, resilience and tenacity, all of which I have given my own girls. And they will pass these torches on, along with many more, as they give birth to new generations of light bearers.

– Tanya Robinson

I am the woman I am today because my mother raised me to be independent, strong, accepting of others, and to work hard for what I want in life.

– Danielle Moore

Mothering, to you, did not just mean molding me, but also doing the hard work of changing within yourself.

– Lyndsey Medford

There is no one I have ever met who totally lived in the moment more than my mother. She savored whatever she was doing — reading the morning paper, savoring the most delicious BLT, watching a sunset, or hugging me good night, thankful for the day we’d spent together.

– Carolyn Witte

The most important thing you can learn comes from a mother’s valor because with that you can find your greatest victories in life.

– Madison Simons

She taught me how to be kind, how to be caring, how to be brave and how to be daring. She taught me how to relate, and sympathize, how to forgive people, and apologize.

– Taneka Reaves

I remember growing up and knowing that I was always going to have my mother’s love, no matter what I did. Unfortunately, I lost my mother when I was 25 years old to skin cancer, but every day I can see her through my own daughter. My daughter got my mom’s caring and sensitive side. Mom, I will always look up to you even now that you are in heaven. I was adopted, and I could not have asked for a better mom.

– Emmaly Mabry

My confidence comes from knowing that in the eyes of my mother, I can never fail. I know that it is OK to want more out of life, because my mother made me believe that I was someone who deserved it.

– Heather Thomas Morton


LowCountry Women’s Specialists, Germain Dermatology, Lisette | L Montréal, 2 Girls and A Guy from Mix 96, and a special thank you to 82 Queen for hosting the beautiful luncheon.