Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recalls the 2011 death of her mother, Dorothy Rodham, in an excerpt of her forthcoming book published on Mother’s Day.
Clinton writes in a passage published in Vogue that she drew inspiration from learning about her mother’s determination as she endured a childhood marked by “trauma and abandonment,” including a year spent confined to her room outside of school hours.
Rodham lived with Clinton in Washington at the end of her life, and Clinton writes that she became “a source of great comfort to me, especially in the difficult period after the end of the 2008 campaign.”
Clinton was about to board a flight to London on Halloween in 2011 when she got a call saying her mother had been rushed to the hospital. She canceled the trip and was with Rodham when she died the next day.
“Mom lived a long and full life,” Clinton writes. “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.”
Clinton’s memoir, Hard Choices, will be published on June 10.
The excerpt concludes with a passage that could perhaps offer a window into Clinton’s thinking as she weighs a second presidential bid in 2016.
“Mom measured her own life by how much she was able to help us and serve others,” Clinton writes. “I knew if she was still with us, she would be urging us to do the same. Never rest on your laurels. Never quit. Never stop working to make the world a better place. That’s our unfinished business.”