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Ava Phillippe’s heartfelt tribute to Reese Witherspoon is the perfect reminder to tell your loved one you care

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Christobel Hastings
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It’s no secret that Reese Witherspoon and her daughter Ava Phillippe share a close mother-daughter bond. And, as a special Instagram tribute proves, there’s no better time to tell your loved one you care than the present. 

When was the last time you told your nearest and dearest that you love them? An hour ago? A day ago? Or was it longer ago than you’d care to admit? 

If a twinge of guilt is currently stirring in the pit of your stomach: it’s OK. While we shouldn’t need a reminder to message our loved ones to tell them we care, life can and does get in the way. In the time it takes us to brave the rush hour commute, complete the daily grind, get home in one piece and collapse on the sofa, we’ve barely had a spare moment to check in with those closest to our hearts.

Enter Ava Phillippe, who reminded us of the importance of checking in with our loved ones when she shared a touching Instagram post celebrating her mum, Reese Witherspoon.

Witherspoon’s 19-year-old daughter posted a candid photo of the Big Little Lies actress adjusting her earring, referring to her mother as a “gorgeous woman.”

“This is the gorgeous woman who taught me about the power of graciousness, love, ambition and hard work,” Philippe wrote. “She inspires me every day to live with gratitude for the life I’ve been given and compassion for others.”

Philippe is spot on about her mum’s talents, of course. Not only is Witherspoon an award-winning actress with her own production company, Hello Sunshine, but she’s a fierce activist too. From closing the gender pay gap to fighting sexual harassment in the film industry as part of the Time’s Up movement, Witherspoon is a true force to be reckoned with.

The best part of her daughter’s tribute, though, was that there was no special reason behind it. As Ava explained in the meaningful message, she simply just felt like it. “I’m thinking about her a little extra today, that’s all,” she added. In the comments, Witherspoon replied, “How did I get so lucky to have a daughter like you?”

Of course, as far as Hollywood mother-daughter relationships go, Phillippe and Witherspoon’s bond is one of the strongest. The pair hang out as best friends, go on museum dates, and even attend industry events together - not to mention, they’re basically twins. Earlier in May, Phillippe went along to the Big Little Lies season 2 premiere as her mum’s plus one. “Big Little Date Night,” she wrote on Instagram. “Congrats to every member of #BLL2 crew! So especially proud of my mama and her passion for this story and her work. After seeing just the first episode, I honestly cannot wait to see more!”

We’re never short of a moving mother-daughter moment when these two are together, either, as Phillippe is constantly cheering her Mum on. “You are such a generous, conscientious, and passionately kind person, and I am so blessed to bear witness to your light and love each and every day,” Phillippe wrote in a recent post.

On Mother’s Day, meanwhile, Phillippe penned a moving love letter to Witherspoon. “Your drive to pursue your passions, your curiosity and willingness to learn, your care and compassion for others, and your strength to fight for what and who you care about all make me immensely proud to be your daughter,” she wrote.

Naturally, the love is very much reciprocated by Witherspoon. In a blog post on Draper James, the actress opened up about the ways her daughter inspires her on the regular. “I think the way Ava and I are most alike is our strong opinions and our empathy,” she wrote. “From the time that she could speak, Ava has always had her own ideas, and I love to watch her express herself. She also cares deeply about her family and the world around her. She frequently educates me on news stories and issues young women are facing.”

Even as we’re keeping up with Phillippe and Witherspoon’s heartwarming relationship, their inspiring notes serve as a reminder that we don’t need a special occasion or any kind of milestone for that matter to tell our loved ones that they’re in our thoughts. 

Calling your parents for five minutes during your lunch break, taking a few seconds out of your day to message your oldest friends, and telling your significant other that you love, appreciate and value them even when they’re driving you insane reminds the people most important to us that we don’t take them for granted. 

You might not realise it at the time, but a simple text or phone call can completely turn someone’s day around too. Just think of the times, for instance, when someone close to you has told you that they care about you in midst of the hustle and bustle. How the stresses of the day melt away, and your frown turns upside down. Even if you’re having a great day, a few spontaneous words from a loved one never fails to lift the spirits either. So, if you’ve read ‘till the end of this article, you’ve got time to say ‘I love you.’

Image: Getty

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.

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