I think you might have been on to something with this whole "mothering" thing.
I never understood how you could be so stubborn and yet, so understanding all at the same time. I think that the relationship between a daughter and a mother is vastly understated, due mostly to the majority thought that the relationship between a daughter and a father is stronger, more affectionate. This is partly true; but not in the sense that Dad was more important. You always were too. As a matter of fact, you still are.
When I was younger, I always thought I had to protect you. I've always had that innate sense of guardianship over those that I love, and it exists even though it usually ends in heartache. I couldn't protect you from your own mistakes, or from those mistakes nearly ravaging our family. But I could protect you from thinking you were useless. That was my job. For a lot of years, I was the "s" in sanity in our angry household. I wanted to be that ray of light for you and Dad; you had so much to deal with, so little appreciation, or so you thought. So instead of resenting the small amounts of attention that I did get, when things weren't focused on me because of her, I savored them. Every moral morsel that you and Dad dropped, I was careful to pick back up; every piece of your heart that cried out with the tears of frustration, I cradled in mine, until there was a moment that I could hug you, and return it to it's rightful place. I wasn't the protector of your marriage, or your finances, or anything tangible; I suppose, when you look at my actions closely, I wanted to be the carpenter. Not like Dad, not to build things out of wood and sweat, but to rebuild your heart. A mother's heart; the most sacred. It wasn't always the easiest job; with one daughter reeling against you like a blind grizzly bear being stung by bees, your heart was as fragile as a handful of butterflies. For so long, I wished that I would be the one that was slapped by her, grated by her, emotionally destroyed by her, on several occasions. Do you want to know why?
Because I love you. Many people think that the love that a mom feels for a daughter is the greatest. It's not. It's equal to what the daughter feels for the mother. I know this because I still feel the need to protect you against yourself, your jealousy, your pessimism, your worry. As you get older, you are letting go of the fundamentals that you taught me; to love, to live, to trust. Honesty, hope, dreams. These were all words that you gave to me, gifts, more the like. But you aren't believing anymore. What is the problem, Mom? These hard times, magnified by a million because there seems to be no viable end, have taken their toll on us all. But while you face them bravely, sometimes your bravery gives way to foolishness, and you end up destroying yourself. Dad loves you, Mom. He always has. He's never cheated on you, he never would. He talks about you like a lovesick teenager talks about his crush. It hurts us all to hear that you don't believe in the man that you married because I know that you are hurting over something that's probably unrelated. You have to believe in him like you asked me to believe in you. You have to believe in ME, Mom, you have to know that I wouldn't tell you any of this if I thought that you were in any kind of danger of a broken heart. Because I'm your guardian, your carpenter, and the last thing I want is to ever see you broken again. Let us all fix you, together. That's how a family works.
Your Daughter, best friend, and pseudo-guard dog.