It’s often said that your son is your son until he takes a wife, but your daughter is your daughter for life. The connection between a mother and daughter is special and like no other relationship, so with Mother’s Day around the corner, we wanted to highlight this most valued bond. Here, we talk with three local mother-daughter duos about the ways they inspire and encourage each other and what advice they have for the rest of us.
Rose Jackson Flenorl & Lillie Clarissa Flenorl
Mother: Rose Jackson Flenorl, manager in the internationally recognized FedEx Global Citizenship group
Daughter: Lillie Clarissa Flenorl, communications specialist for FedEx Freight
Rose, what has your daughter taught you?
Lillie has taught me, by example, to go for the gold. I often see the barriers [that she will encounter], and I want her to be cautious. No matter her age, I think it is my job to protect her. But she once said to me, “Read your own speeches. You always say go for it.” Her glass-half-full message always surfaces. She believes the worst that can happen is that you fail and try something else.
Lillie, what has your mother taught you?
My mom has taught me that I am capable of achieving anything I want. She has always instilled a great sense of confidence in me, and I will forever treasure that.
Can you both share a memory or fact that you cherish.
Rose: Lillie and I are both Student Hall of Fame graduates of Ole Miss. Student Hall of Fame is the highest student honor. While there are numerous father-son and mother-son combinations, we are the only mother-daughter combination. On the funny side, Lillie has always been an optimist. When she was in elementary school, she scored poorly on a quiz. ButsShe was never really fazed when I nagged her about her grades. When I asked her why she didn’t do better, she responded, “I got more right than I did wrong.” While I did not find humor in her response at the time, I now know that sometimes doing your best is all you can do. Just get it right more times than you get it wrong.
Lillie: My mom has done a lot of great things, and there are several memories that I cherish. One of the most significant memories was when she was inducted into the Ole Miss Alumni Hall of Fame. I was young and still remember how special that weekend was for our entire family. We were all beaming with pride. I didn’t quite grasp what everything meant at the time, but looking back on that weekend, I realize how significant that honor was to her.
What trait do you admire most in each other?
Rose: The trait I admire most about Lillie is her loving and caring attitude. She goes out of her way to support others. She had this trait as a child, and it has continued in her as an adult. I am reminded of the scripture Galatians 5:22-23, referencing the fruit of the spirit. As a child, Lillie always wanted to reach out to her peers in school. She started a fundraiser at Hutchison for the American Red Cross after 9/11. She has always volunteered in the community and still does today with the Junior League and her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. When my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she organized family birthday parties and a Mother’s Day gathering to celebrate Mom and let her know how much we loved her. If there is anything you want to say about the person you raised, it’s that they have a kind heart, and I can say that about Lillie.
Lillie: I admire her tenacity and the fact that she goes after what she wants with no hesitation. She is truly a go-getter, and I have seen that in her since I was little. She has always taught me to work hard and to have a little bit of confidence and faith.
Is there a special tradition the two of you share?
Rose: We both have a heart for philanthropic endeavors. We both love the University of Mississippi and serve on councils and alumni boards for the university. We also love Hutchison and have served on boards and councils for the school. And we are both members of Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Lillie: We love to shop!
Rose, what’s one piece of advice you would share with other mothers?
The one piece of advice I would share with mothers is to be patient. Keep training, developing and loving your daughter. They are listening even when you don’t think they are. One day the light bulb will come on, and your daughter will thank you. Don’t faint. Proverbs 22.
Lillie, what’s one piece of advice you would share with other daughters?
I would encourage other daughters to communicate with their mothers on a regular basis because the mother-daughter bond is so special.
Kelsea Johns Rader & Michelle Reynolds Johns
Mother: Health Promotion Specialist and Yoga Lead for Lifetime Fitness, Collierville, TN
Daughter: Mother of Henry and Social Media Lead for a local interior designer
Kelsea, what is an important piece of advice your mother has given you?
My mother taught me to respect myself and have confidence in my abilities. In middle school, she also told me that, no matter what I was going through, if I had something I needed to share, she was the safest place for me to share it. She told me that my friends were not mature enough to keep secrets, and I should never share anything I wouldn’t want repeated.
Michelle, what has your daughter taught you?
My daughter has taught me how very important a mother is to her daughter. It is our duty to use our influence to raise our daughters to be the best versions of themselves, as well as to be supportive in their endeavors with guidance that is discerning and fairminded, but that also allows them to become their own person. With Kelsea, I always explained any advisement I gave and, when necessary, the interventions I made. But, mostly, I allowed her to make her own decisions. I still give her advice with the understanding that the choices and consequences are all hers.
Share a heartwarming or special tradition you share.
Kelsea: Sundays were always mom-and-me afternoons. Now that I’m married we share Sundays with the whole family, but that often means my mom and I do something while the guys hang out.
Michelle: Kelsea and I have several. We love to cook and bake together, especially Christmas cookies. We make the best almond butter cookies and lemon curd. We also run a 5K a month together, and we traditionally spend Sunday afternoons together doing something we enjoy — though that time is now usually shared with our newest family member, Henry, who is Kelsea’s first child.
Kelsea, how does your mom inspire you?
She is always doing something to better herself and her community. She shows me how to work hard and not be lazy. She’s overcome more adversity in her life than the average person, and I really look up to her for her strength.
How does Kelsea inspire you, Michelle?
Kelsea is truly a gracious woman. She has such a kind and forgiving spirit. She is a fiercely loyal friend and woman of God.
Kelsea, what’s one piece of advice you would share with other daughters?
Start becoming the woman/mom you want to be now because the choices you make now shape your future self.
Michelle, what’s one piece of advice you would share with other mothers?
Treasure your daughter. The influence you have will shape her into the woman she becomes as a wife and a mother. Take the good you know of life and instill more of it in your daughter. Take the ills you know and share them as ways to help your daughter navigate life in a way that allows her to find her own path, but that also protects her and gives her courage and strength.
Please share one trait that you admire in each other.
Kelsea: I admire my mom’s perseverance because in order to persevere you have to be strong and resilient. She is both of those things, which is why she is pretty unstoppable.
Michelle: I admire Kelsea’s patience. She is very patient with others.
Kristen Duplessie Ring & Samantha Jane Ring
Mother: Kristen Duplessie Ring, Head of School, Hutchison
Daughter: Samantha Jane Ring, Coming into her own a little more every year
Samantha, what is an important piece of advice your mother has given you?
She tells me to be myself. When we first moved to Memphis and I started at Hutchison, I thought a lot of people wanted to be my friend just because my mom is head of school. But she told me to just be myself and people will like me for me.
Please share a heartwarming or special tradition you share with each other.
Kristen: Samantha likes to read a book on her own; then we watch the movie together, and she talks through the movie. We’ve also just entered the shopping together phase. She’s developing her own sense of style.
Samantha: I like to point out the differences between the books and the movie.
Kristen, how does your daughter inspire you?
She inspires me because she finds the joy in absolutely everything. She always sees the bright side of a situation and never points out the negative. She invokes joy in others around her and is an incredibly happy human being. Nothing gets her down for long. Samantha’s far more extroverted than I am, and that inspires me, too. She makes friends instantly.
Samantha, how does your mother inspire you?
She’s a very good role model for me. She has lived a very similar life to mine, so she’s good at giving me advice on how to make friends and go to new places.
Can you share a surprising memory or funny fact about each other?
Samantha: My mom laughs at herself. She’ll be on her phone and then laugh out loud.
Kristen: Samantha is very talented musically. She picked up the recorder at a young age and started playing. Our dog used to sing along with her. She is very talented at most things she attempts. She’s always fearful at first, and then, with encouragement, she breaks through barriers and finds success.
Kristen, what have you learned from your daughter?
Samantha has taught me resilience. When something is hard, she keeps after it and finds success. She’s taught me kindness and to be flexible. She can go with the flow better than most people I know, and I don’t always do that easily, so I learn from her. She’s a good human.
Samantha, what have you learned from your mom?
My mom teaches me to face my fears and have courage. The other day, I was going to an Easter egg hunt, and I didn’t want to go because I was feeling kind of anxious. She encouraged me. I went and I had a great time.
Samantha, what do you admire about your mom?
She’s not afraid to try new things. I am a picky eater and she tries new foods and anything else. She’s a cool mom.
Kristen, what do you admire about your daughter?
What are three things you cannot live without?
Kristen: Dogs, books and sunshine
Samantha: Electronics, books and water
Thank you to each of these mother-daughter duos for inviting us into their lives and sharing the special details of their bond with us! We hope it inspire you to have some meaningful conversations with you mother and/or daughter!
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