In an exclusive excerpt from her upcoming memoir, Hard Choices, published on Vogue.com, Clinton reminisces about giving birth to her baby girl – and what her mother taught her.
“From the moment I first held Chelsea in my arms in the hospital in Little Rock, I knew my mission in life was to give her every opportunity to thrive. As she’s grown up and stepped out into the world in her own right, my responsibilities have changed,” she writes.
“Now that she’s expecting a child of her own, I’m preparing for a new role that I’ve looked forward to for years: grandmother. And I’ve found myself thinking a lot about my relationship with my own mom, as an adult as well as in childhood, and what lessons I learned from her.”
A former secretary of state, senator and First Lady, Clinton has long been a member of the political elite. But she had humble beginnings growing up in Park Ridge, Illinois, and a generation earlier, her mother Dorothy Howell Rodham survived a tumultuous childhood.
Rodham’s parents divorced when she was young and shipped her off to live with strict, ultimately abusive grandparents in California. As a teenager, she moved out and became and a housekeeper and nanny, paying her way through high school before moving back to Chicago and meeting Clinton’s father.
Today, Clinton remembers her mother, who died in 2011, as a kind and charitable woman.
“Mom measured her own life by how much she was able to help us and serve others. I knew if she was still with us, she would be urging us to do the same,” Clinton writes. “Never rest on your laurels. Never quit. Never stop working to make the world a better place. That’s our unfinished business.”
Hard Choices, which Clinton penned by hand in her attic, will be released June 10.