When did you first truly feel like an adult?



I was listening to my favorite radio station the other day while I was driving into the city.  It’s an interactive station.  It’s hip and fun.  They play all the newest songs.  And some oldies.

I’ve listened to this station for years.  Probably 20 or more.  On this particular morning, the DJ asked his listening audience when it was that they truly felt like an adult.  Did they remember the moment in time?  There were a lot of predictable answers.

When I got married…

After the birth of my first child…

When I was diagnosed with….


Driving down the freeway towards my destination, I lost myself in thought as the soft sounds of the radio continued playing in the background.  When was it that I truly felt like an adult for the first time…

I had been through so much in the past 2 years.  My life had changed so drastically.  A diagnosis of Cancer.  Surgeries.  Radiation.  Moving my husbands parents across the country ~ back home here.  He and I had gone from the role of adult children to caregivers.  The loss of my Father-in-Law.  The loss of my beloved Mother.

The sting of my Mom’s death was still fresh. The wound still deep.

I went back to my hometown a few weeks ago.  Back to the place where I was raised.  Where I had grown up.  The Midwestern town that had shaped me into the adult I am today.  I needed to go back and go through my Mom’s house one last time.  We had put it on the market shortly after her death.  It had sold in a matter of weeks.  I brought a friend along with me for moral support.  The same friend who had helped me through some very dark days after my Mom’s immediate death.  And I met with my sweet sister, Nancy, there that day, too.

I did not know how I would react to the necessity of this final act of letting go.  Her home was the last materialistic and tangible object remaining of her time with us in this life.  And now, that too, would soon become just a sweet memory.

As I worked together with my sister and dear friend to clear out what was left of her belongings, I thought to myself how odd and somewhat sad it is that we accumulate all of these materialistic things during our lifetime.  Treasures to us.  But to others, just objects.  Often, objects of no interest to those left behind after a loved one dies.  And at the end of your life, it’s as if you just open up your front door, walk out  on your life.   All of your things are just left behind.

I came across things that I had not seen in years.  Things that would bring out a sudden laugh or chuckle.  Things that made me smile ~ each one stirring a treasured memory.  I found myself laughing more than crying that day.  And, I knew my mom would be laughing right beside me.  She was lighthearted.  And fun.  And always found the humor in any situation.  I inherited that from her.  Her take on life was also mine.  Her sense of humor I shared, too.  Thank You, Mom!! 

I thought back upon my deep love for my Mom throughout that entire day.   When did our relationship change from mother-daughter to a true, deep friendship?  I could not pinpoint the time, but I knew there was most definitely a metamorphosis that had taken place.  We truly were friends.  We enjoyed each others company and shared so many moments together that two girlfriends would share.  Hour long phone calls.  Often as long as 2+ hours.  We traveled together.  A lot.  And during those travels we became closer and closer.  We saw things for the first time together and were in awe as we traveled and our eyes were opened to new experiences.  Italy.  France.  Spain.  Parts of the USA as well.  She became close to my children.  They formed close bonds with her.  So much so, that they would travel by themselves to see her and spend time with her.  All treasured memories now, locked up in my heart.

As we finished our task that day and were walking out, I turned back one last time and looked around at what had once been her home. When did I truly first feel like an adult?  I never felt more adult than I did in that moment.  I was left behind here on Earth while my Mother, who I love more than words can describe, had gone home to be with my Dad in Heaven.

My Love for my Mom and Dad is deep rooted in my heart and soul.  Forever.

Tomorrow is Mother’s day.  I am going to be celebrating my Mom and smiling at the memory of her inner beauty, over-abundance of unconditional love, our deep friendship, and her selfless gift of being the best role model I could have ever asked for.

I miss her so, so, so much.  I’m sure she is smiling down on me right now from her new home in Heaven.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  I Love You.



54 thoughts on “When did you first truly feel like an adult?

  1. A very interesting question – and a measured, lyrical response which I enjoyed reading.
    I suppose the reinforcement of the feeling that I am indeed an adult now came the day my sister remarked that I looked – and sounded – so much like my mother. That was the first day I ever took that as a compliment. My partner says it with increasing frequency at the oddest of times, too. All this, despite not having seen my mother for five and a half years. We are separated by continents, that is all. I am 50, by the way. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.
    My mom died almost ten years ago. Every few days something happens that reminds me of her — the things she liked, her quirks and her unconditional love for me. I deeply miss her.
    Happy Mother’s Day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gordon, Thank You.

      I like to believe those instances are their way of letting us know they are still with us. Im sorry for your loss. There is just nothing in the world like the bond between Mother/daughter & Mother/son

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do feel that she watches over me. Although I was adopted at birth, I feel so close to both my parents – each in different ways. I never new any other parents, and although I have an innate talent for music, which I believe that I got from my birth mother, I think I’m a lot like them. They raised me to be the person I am. I’m so thankful for that.

        Sorry to go on, but your post really made me think about my mother.
        I really appreciate that.


  3. This made me cry………..
    I had a relationship like that with my aunt, I also called her mom and she passed away last summer…….
    I’m 17 so obviously not an adult, and your post made me wonder, when I will feel like a real adult. I work, I have an internship, I go to school, I feel like it is close but also far
    Thank you for this post!
    Xo, Rosie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cherish that relationship. Keep it alive in your heart.

      17?! You are young and have a LOT of living to do. Enjoy every day. It truly goes fast. (something my Mom always told me)


  4. Nancy

    Once again, agonizing, heart wrenching, yet so very sweet tears of joy. Thank you my wonderful sister for the ability to put in words what we all feel. So much love to you. And yes, Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lelahb39

    May you be forever connected to the love of your Mother! Enjoy your day honoring and remembering her. Your strength and courage shared trough these words is beautiful.


    1. Thank You! Im so glad you stopped by to check it out. And, Thank you for the sentiments. Losing your mom is a hard loss. Im so blessed and very thankful for the dear memories and for the time we had together.


  6. A very nice piece, so much so that I read it twice, once before leaving for work and once again, just after arriving. The thought of how the physical things–artifacts–we leave behind can catalyze so many fond memories is something that will stay with me the rest of the day. I am grateful that you shared this.


  7. Cammal aka Brown Boy

    Its a beautiful piece. Good to hear that you had lots of good memories with your late mum. I’m sure she is resting in a good place. Cherish those moments and give the best of life to you and your family.. 🙂


  8. Genny Gibbs-Benesh

    What a lovely piece, Peggy. You’re a beautiful writer. I enjoyed it very much and can relate to your feelings about your mom. I can’t imagine a world without my mom (or dad) in it. I know the day will come when I will have to face it, so I savor the time I have with her. The distance between us is difficult–always has been. Makes our times together just that much more special.

    Also, old friend, I don’t suppose you remember this, but I’ve never forgotten it. We were walking up Crestview one day, probably on our way to school, and we were probably talking about looking forward to driving, going on dates, having a job, whatever, and your response was, “I don’t want to grow up. I like being a kid.” I’ve never forgotten that, probably because it just seemed so weird to me at the time. But you know what? You were right. It was a lot of fun just being a kid. You recognized before any of us that being an adult is not all it’s cracked up to be. So your response to “When did you truly feel like an adult?” is especially poignant to me.


    1. Oh, My dear friend, Genny. I think about growing up on Crestview Dr, too. They were such good days. I’ve enver taken for granite how fortunate and privileged we were to grow up in such a wonderful neighborhood. I really need to write about it. And, I will.

      Thank you for the kind words.


  9. Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate and for those of us who lost our moms too soon, a time to remember with tears and smiles. And as for the question, when did I become an adult… probably when I stopped calling mom and dad to bail me out of car trouble, boy troubles, work troubles, etc! 🙂


  10. When did I “first truly feel like an adult?” Well, it’s hard to pinpoint, hard to describe…but I’m really looking forward to that moment. I think…

    But, I really relate to your writing here. Although my relationship with my mother differs greatly in the particulars – all the travel and grandchildren – I absolutely identify with your last few paragraphs. And, I am in the long process of going through her “things” and your words also ring true there.

    One thing that helped me in sorting through them is that – in addition to the fact that she’ll never use any of them again and could not care less about them now – she would see it that I am the most important part of her remaining legacy. Not her material possessions.

    I’m sure your mom would say the same about you. (Or maybe the grandkids…8^)


    1. How beautiful. I wish I had thought to add that to my post. Yes, the most important thing in life is the friendships and relationships you make along the way. In the end – people, and how we relate to each other, are the only thing that matters. Thank you for your lovely reply.


  11. I wonder if being an adult should happen
    We see to be hardwired to be child like. A book called The Optimism Principle talks of how we tend to see the best in situations, recover fast from grief. She thinks it’s the payoff for self awareness – we know we are getting old & will die, so our brains balance this with optimism.


  12. runi9807

    I’m turning 18 in a few days, and all I can here around me is people telling me I’m finally going to be an adult. But I’m far from feeling like one. And I’ve been wondering this exact thing, so thank you for sharing this. 🙂


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