Bil Browning

An Excerpt from Hillary Clinton's New Book 'Hard Choices'

Filed By Bil Browning | May 13, 2014 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Politics
Tags: Dorothy Howell Rodham, Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, new book

hillary-clinton-hard-choices.jpgFormer Secretary of State (and likely presidential candidate) Hillary Clinton will release a new book, "Hard Choices," in June. Vogue has scored the first excerpt from the book and it looks like it'll be a great read.

Here's an excerpt of the excerpt, but you'll have to cruise over to Vogue for the full thing.

When I became Secretary of State, Mom was just about to turn 90. She had been living with us in Washington for the past few years, ever since being alone in her apartment overlooking the zoo on Connecticut Avenue became too much. Like so many Americans of my generation, I felt both blessed to have these extra years with an aging parent and very responsible for making sure she was comfortable and well cared for. Mom gave me so much unconditional love and support when I was growing up in Park Ridge, Illinois; now it was my turn to support her. Of course I never would have let her hear me describe it that way. Dorothy Howell Rodham was a fiercely independent woman. She couldn't bear the thought of being a burden to anyone.

Having her so close became a source of great comfort to me, especially in the difficult period after the end of the 2008 campaign. I'd come home from a long day at the Senate or the State Department, slide in next to her at the small table in our breakfast nook, and let everything just pour out.
When I lost my father in 1993, it felt too soon, and I was consumed with sadness for all the things he would not live to see and do. This was different. Mom lived a long and full life. This time I wept not for what she would miss but for how much I would miss her. I spent the next few days going through her things at home, paging through a book, staring at an old photograph, caressing a piece of beloved jewelry. I found myself sitting next to her empty chair in the breakfast nook and wishing more than anything that I could have one more conversation, one more hug.

We held a small memorial service at the house with close family and friends. We asked Reverend Bill Shillady, who married Chelsea and Marc, to officiate. Chelsea spoke movingly, as did many of Mom's friends and our family. I read a few lines from the poet Mary Oliver, whose work Mom and I both adored.

Standing there with Bill and Chelsea by my side, I tried to say a final goodbye. I remembered a piece of wisdom that an older friend of mine shared in her later years that perfectly captured how my mother lived her life and how I hoped to live mine: "I have loved and been loved; all the rest is background music."

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.