The bond between blogger Nikki Pennington and her mom was incredibly deep, and was forged around the special ability her mother had to help calm her down when she was at her most anxious.
Five years ago, Pennington lost her mother to terminal brain cancer. But as she wrote in a blog post discussing her grief, her mother hadn’t left without giving her an incredible gift first—and as a result, she’s managed to remain calm even in the face of anxiety years later.
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“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,” Pennington wrote.
“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.”
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As she went on to explain, her mother had been her rock when she dealt with anxiety attacks up until she got married to her husband. At that point, her husband started to slowly assume the role her mom had once filled, encouraging Pennington to talk to him about her anxiety and gradually becoming just as effective at calming her as her mother had once been.
For years, the magic ability of Pennington’s husband to serve as that anxiety support figure was something that she appreciated but didn’t quite understand. Then, when her mother passed away, her husband finally revealed his secret; years ago, on their wedding day, Pennington’s mother had talked him through how to be a beacon of support.
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“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,’” she wrote.
“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.”
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The talk, Pennington explained, gave her husband a chance to assume that role even when her mother was gone. And the way it proved her mother truly was her forever person is absolutely heartbreaking and poignant to read.
“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,” Pennington summed up. “She gave up being my person so that she could make sure I would always have one, no matter what.”
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