Chelsea Handler's Message To Mom: "You Knew Me Before I Knew Me"

Photo: Ken McKay/ITV/Rex/REX USA
Mother's Day isn't just about flowers, brunch and Hallmark cards for some of us. It can also be a reminder of the mothers who aren't here, as it is for Chelsea Handler. The comedian wrote a poignant essay about her late mother, Rita, on Huffington Post this weekend. Read it at your own risk (as in, with at least one box of tissues next to you).

"There have been days that I've picked up the phone to call you, and then remembered," Handler says, addressing her mother who died in 2006, due to breast cancer. "But it doesn't matter, because I know you're here. I still feel you."
The hilariously brash TV host and author says her mother was nothing like she is, but "shy and elegant," the type who covered her mouth when she laughed. But she valued her daughter's self-confidence and strength. "My mother told me to understand that not everyone would like me, but I would be deeply loved by those who did," she writes.

"My mother knew who I was before I did," Handler continues. Even though her mother died before the youngest of her six children really hit it big and had her own show, she told Chelsea on her deathbed, "Please take care of your brothers and sisters, because I know you'll be able to one day." 

Handler, who has a new show on Netflix coming in 2016, has written and spoken about loss in her family before. Her brother died in a hiking accident when she was 9. But it's still always a refreshing surprise to see the serious side of the people who usually make us laugh. 

"To every mother on Mother's Day," she concludes, "Thank you for teaching us how to love."       

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