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Mothers and Daughters, and a Blessing

Sue Hyde lives in Cambridge, Mass., with her wife, Jade McGleughlin, their daughter, Jesse, 14 and their son, Max, 12.

The makeup of their household is not as rare as it once was — and certainly not as rare as it was when Hyde was growing up, in a small town in rural Illinois.

Asked by her daughter about the differences between their childhoods, Hyde's response is, "I grew up in one of those very typical families, with a mom and a dad. And there were seven kids."

The hardest part, Hyde says, was her sense of being alienated from her family, because of the feelings she had for other girls, feelings "that no one else that I knew at that time had."

When Hyde was 19, she finally told her mother about those feelings.

"And do you know what she said to me?" Hyde asked Jesse recently. "'What did we do wrong?'"

"I think if she knew you now, though, she'd be really proud," Jesse says in response, "'cause, you would have changed her mind."

But her mother's acceptance — and blessing — did finally come, shortly before she died in 1980.

With her partner, Hyde made a trip to her family's home to visit her mother, who was suffering from a grave illness.

On the night before Hyde's mother died, the three sat together.

Her mother took the couple's hands, Hyde remembers, "and put them here together, on her chest. And she said, 'You two be happy.'"

"I don't want you, ever, ever, to wait that long to hear that from me, and I want you to know that I want you to be happy," Hyde says.

To that, Jesse's response is, "Mom, you know I will."

Produced for 'Morning Edition' by Katie Simon, with help from Michelle Swinehart. The senior producer for StoryCorps is Sarah Kramer.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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