Hillary Clinton writes in her upcoming memoir that no one person has had a bigger influence on her life or shaped her more as a person than her mother, who died nearly three years ago by her side.
Vogue Magazine today released the first excerpt of Clinton’s much anticipated memoir, “Hard Choices” — a heartfelt and personal Mother’s Day tribute to her mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham.
In the piece, Clinton, who says she has been reflecting more about motherhood lately as she prepares to be a grandmother, gives touching and humanizing anecdotes about her relationship with own mother, the struggles her mother overcame and the lessons she passed along.
“Like so many Americans of my generation, I felt both blessed to have these extra years with an aging parent and very responsible for making sure she was comfortable and well cared for,” she writes about her mother, who lived with the Clintons in Washington, D.C. until she died at the age of 92. “Mom gave me so much unconditional love and support when I was growing up in Park Ridge, Illinois; now it was my turn to support her.”
Even so, Clinton, describes the way in which she continued to rely heavily on her mom for emotional support throughout the most challenging moments in her career, specifically the period at the end of her failed 2008 presidential campaign.
“Having her so close became a source of great comfort to me,” she writes. “I’d come home from a long day at the Senate or the State Department, slide in next to her at the small table in our breakfast nook, and let everything just pour out.”
Hillary Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, often speaks about the important role her grandmother had in her life, which Clinton also details in the piece. She describes how her mom, who had a challenging upbringing filled with “trauma and abandonment,” helped Chelsea “navigate the unique challenges of growing up in the public eye,” and encouraged her to pursue her passion for service and philanthropy.
In one of the most humanizing moments in the tribute, Clinton writes about the day in 2011 in which her mother took a turn for the worse, causing Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time, to cancel a trip overseas and rush to the hospital.
“Mom was a fighter her entire life,” she writes, describing the moment “But it was finally time to let go.”
Clinton ends the tribute with a lesson from her mother — perhaps one she herself will use as she considers a run for president. She writes that if her mother were alive today, she would say: “Never rest on your laurels. Never quit. Never stop working to make the world a better place. That’s our unfinished business.”
Clinton’s upcoming memoir, “Hard Choices,” will be released June 10 by Simon and Schuster.