Light Notes

It can’t be happening. I’m turning into my mother

Lucy Luginbill

I’m turning into my mother. At least that’s what my husband says.

“You’re talking in your ‘Edna voice’ again,” Bill said the other day, calling after me as I headed for the downstairs, the cat close on my heels.

“What’s that supposed to mean!” I said, acting as if his words hadn’t hit a nerve.

“You know, speaking with that high-pitched voice like your mom used to do,” he cheerily reminded me, a smile most certainly in place although I refused to look.

Oh! I didn’t like being reminded that I’m turning into my mom. But I think it may be the truth. Why just the other day I actually caught a glimpse of her in the mirror. Not that that’s a bad thing, but it just tells me where I’m headed – permed gray hair and polyester pants.

Not only am I beginning to look like her, as a visiting aunt recently told me, but now I’m talking in that same tone reserved for cats and kids. It’s a bit alarming.

I don’t know why it is, but there’s a fear that runs deep in women’s genes, a worry that we’ll end up behaving like our mothers.

So, you can imagine the look of terror and the strangled gasp from my two daughters when they’re told they look just like me. Fortunately for them, they don’t act like me … yet.

But with all the idiosyncrasies that any mother has – mine used a squeaky voice at times – it’s not surprising that we grow to imitate them.

Early on, my toddler feet strutted in Mother’s high heels. And when I grew into them one day, I also borrowed her favorite fragrance and cashmere sweater. Eventually as a young woman, I came to her for advice; she had somehow become a lot smarter.

It was a daughter’s mission to be like her, although I didn’t realize it at the time: to follow her quiet honesty, to model her ability to keep her word and to copy her willingness to encourage others.

Edna was an inspirational faith example too.

Her love for God shined brightly throughout her years on Earth, and it reflected deep within my heart. If along the way I picked up a few mannerisms that seem a bit irksome at times, I have much to thank my mother for, and how she molded my life.

I so wish I could tell her how I appreciate all she gave to me, but she’s been gone for much more than a few years now … and I miss her still.

On Mother’s Day, I’d give anything to hear her “Edna voice” again.

Lucy Luginbill is a syndicated Tri-City Herald columnist, religion editor and career public television producer and host. Her popular Light Notes column reflects inspirational and faith-focused stories. She’s been working in journalism for more than 30 years.