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Bridget Richer AC'19 :: I Love You, Mom

Hey everyone! My name is Bridget Richer, and I am an AC’19 from Briarcliff Manor, New York. I just completed my second year as a Health Science major on the pre-PA track and recently added a minor in Health Disparities in Society. This year, I served as the Dance Marathon ambassador for ADPI and was a part of the Standing Rules Committee. Aside from ADPI, I am on the executive board of Action in Africa as the VP of Recruitment and Placement, danced in the Dance Marathon main event this spring, and am involved in a few other clubs/organizations such as PPAA and Hearts for the Homeless. I owe my knowledge and connection to these amazing organizations to ADPI and the older members who have done such a great job spreading their passions and involvement throughout the sorority. Being surrounded by like-minded peers who have many of the same passions, values, and professional interests as I do creates such a rare setting and is something ADPI, fortunately, gives each and every one of us. I find great comfort in knowing that I have hundreds of mentors I can turn to for advice whether it be in my personal life or my professional life.

As an out-of-state student, these feelings of comfort and acceptance have been so valuable in shaping an overall positive experience and transition to a place so new. Whether you are a short car ride from home or a flight away, college is a tremendous change that requires lots of support. All my life, I have found this support from my mother. Through thick and thin, my mom has always been by my side cheering me on, laughing with me, and being a shoulder to cry on. I know I can go to her for anything, and she can do the same with me.

When I asked my mom what our relationship means to her, her words were, “Being Bridget’s Mom is one of my greatest joys. Growing up my mom was my best friend and biggest confidant. I lost my mom to cancer when I was pregnant with Bridget. While in labor, I remember my Dad telling me, 'I hope you are blessed with a daughter as wonderful as you are and that you have that same bond you had with Mommy.' In my mom’s exact words, 'I thank God for you every day of my life and pray that one day he’ll bless you with a daughter as lovingly beautiful, both inside and out as the one he gave to me.' I know my Mom is smiling down from heaven all these years knowing that her prayers were answered. Bridget is my first-born baby, my best friend and I am so grateful to have her. She makes me proud every day and I wish for her the same my mom had for me.”

When I read this, it made me realize that while my mom has been there for me always, I have always been there for her too. Even though I was not born yet, my presence was enough for her when she lost her mom and provided her with feelings of hope. I believe our special bond was strengthened throughout that time of her life and is one of the reasons why we are so close to one another.

Since college created more distance between me and my lifelong best friend, Mom’s weekend was something very special to me. Getting to invite my mom to witness this side of my life and to see the support and love I am surrounded by every day was something valuable for both of us. We had such a great time together, and I know she left UF with peace in her heart after witnessing some of the deepest friendships I will hold in my life.

If you have met my mom, you know she takes life with a grain of salt and does not care what anyone thinks of her. She is ridiculously funny, caring, strong, and beautiful. She teaches me to laugh through the hard times of life and is a woman of two words: “who cares.” This is a lesson so simple, yet so transformative because it changes my perspective on the bad.

My relationship with my mom means everything to me, and I hope I can share that with my own daughter one day. With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, remind the mothers in your life of just how much they mean to you and how they are doing amazing. The smallest gestures are often the most remembered. If you are lucky enough to still have your mother, squeeze her tight, call her often, and remember your I love yous, but no matter what, know you have hundreds of moms and sisters to lean on and support you always here in ADPI.

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