From contention to happiness: Celebrating the mother-daughter relationship

By Emily Christensen

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 9 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

I grew to understand that it was a blessing and not a burden, and I now know I would not have chosen differently. Those were sacred days I will never forget, and moments that are now my best memories of us together.

Ending happy. My mom was feisty and hilarious. My new husband charmed her, and together their antics and wit would leave me laughing so hard tears would pour down my cheeks. They could banter nonsense faster than I could listen, and our final months together were full of laughter. She began going to LDS Church meetings with us, meeting with missionaries, and coming to family home evening. She went to a Relief Society lesson on forgiveness, and formally apologized to me after the class. She started letting go of things for which I had begged forgiveness, and there was a great peace that fell upon us. Our lives together were simply good, each of us focused on serving the others. Our interactions were positive and uplifting, each of us acknowledging positive traits and contributions of others as we noticed them. Our days were happy, with contention driven out by peace, and old dramas silenced by laughter.

What I learned from my mother, and from the movie "Brave," was that it was me who turned her into a bear. What I learned from the gospel was how to just let her be my goodly parent, and appreciate her for it.

Emily Christensen, Ph.D., lives with her husband, Nathan, in Owasso, Okla. Her doctorate is in marriage and family therapy. Her blog is www.housewifeclass.com, and her email is housewifeclass@gmail.com.

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