Madison Dudley calls her mom, Brenda Dudley, her “best friend,” and both mom and daughter are enjoying these adult years where their relationship has morphed into a friendship. “Our relationship grows stronger as we both get older,” Madison says. “I call her for advice, but I also just call her to talk to her about life.”
In those growing-up years, things weren’t always so easy, but both mom and daughter have memories that they enjoy looking back on. Madison remembers their shopping trips. When Madison was younger, Brenda would bring Madison to Dallas to shop for school clothes or prom dresses. Now, Brenda, who works as a recruiter for Wadley Regional Medical Center, gets to visit Madison in Dallas, where she works as a registered nurse – cosmetic injector, and the two still shop at all the malls around town.
Brenda says that she remembers Madison’s outgoing personality when she looks back on the years. “We always gave the kids a choice of a big birthday present or a small one with a party. She ALWAYS chose the party, and she still does. She loves her friends and is still very close to some she has had her entire life,” Brenda says. “Also, Madison is strong, loyal, determined, positive and sees the best in everyone. She does not define anyone by their past. She makes me want to be a better person.”
Brenda also looks back on the hours she spent in the gym watching Madison prepare for cheerleading and competition cheer. “She loved it, and it was apparent she was happy while doing it. It seemed like we lived at the gym for years,” Brenda says. “The weekends together at competition are some of my favorite times. I wouldn’t trade those times for anything.”
Brenda never missed a football game, pep rally, or cheer competition in those formative teenage years. “She has always been very supportive,” Madison says. “In college, she would come to my sorority and nursing events — no matter how big or small they were. Now that I’m older, she supports my business, continues to give me life advice, and is one of my best friends.”
Both Brenda and Madison have advice for mothers and daughters as they navigate their relationship. Brenda says that the reward is great if you can make it through the ages of 14-16. “Daughters are a challenge at times, but my biggest piece of advice is to just love them for who they are, not who you thought they would be,” Brenda says. “Now, Madison is my go-to girl. As my children grew up I often thought, ‘This is my favorite age,’ (well, not the teenager years), but now I think adult children are the best age. I look forward to her eventually settling down and having a family. Hopefully, she has a daughter just like her. One that will give her fits as she grows up and then turns into the most beautiful person.”
Madison says that she wishes she had listened more to Brenda’s words of wisdom throughout the years. “As I’ve grown older, I wish I would have taken her advice in a lot of different situations growing up. She is a lot smarter than I thought she was!” Madison says. “My mom has influenced my life in so many ways. She made sure my life was grounded with Christ. She encouraged me during my education and inspired me to work hard for a degree, so I could be independent. She is the most loyal friend, unconditionally loves her children, and is a devoted wife to my dad. I hope to be half the woman she is.
Questions for Mom, Brenda Dudley
1. What is your favorite thing about your daughter?
Her heart! She loves with her whole heart! She has a strong exterior but is so incredibly tender-hearted. Only those closest to her understand the depth that she feels.
2. What makes you proud of your daughter?
Her strength, determination, and independence. She may get knocked down but will get right back up! She is living her best life. She loves living in Dallas and loves her job. I am so proud of her success.
3. What is the one thing you see in your daughter you wish she could see in herself?
Her beauty on the inside. Sometimes, it is overwhelming when I think of how proud I am of her. She is a good person, and I think that is what we all hope for as we raise our children.
Questions for Daughter, Madison Dudley
1. What is your favorite thing about your mother?
Her selflessness. Her unconditional love. Her confidence. Her independence. The list goes on and on. I aspire to be like her as a friend, a wife, and a mother.
2. What memories are you most looking forward to making with her?
I cannot wait to see her as a grandmother one of these days. She’s already a great “Grammy” to my pup, Winston.
3. What makes you the proudest of your mom?
She fights every battle with such grace. She has faced a multitude of curveballs as I grew up, and all that shines through is her strength and courage. She constantly prays for me. She has always made sure Jesus is a foundation in my life. She is a hard worker- she has raised me to be an independent woman, and I love that about her.