A mother's love is unconditional and everlasting. In Robert Harling's play Steel Magnolias, Harling shows how the mother daughter relationship that M'lynn and Shelby share is the strongest relationship in the play. Harling also proves how that even though a person may die, the feelings others have of that person do not die with them, in fact, in some cases they may actually grow.
To love unconditionally one must be there for another person no matter what the situation is, or how painful it might be. M'lynn showed how she loved her daughter unconditionally in two ways; first, M'lynn risked her own life to help save Shelby's, and second she stayed by Shelby's side when no one else would. M'lynn risked her own life when she decided that she would give up her kidney for Shelby, “But I'm lucky. I don't have to wait anymore. Mama's going to give me one of her kidneys” (58). M'lynn showed how much she loved her daughter and wanted to save her even if it meant dangerous surgery.“[Shelby] They basically have to saw her in half to get the kidney. It's major, major surgery for her” (59). There is no greater way to show your love for another person than to risk your own life for their well being. What is arguably one of the most heartbreaking scenes of the entire play is also the one that proves M'lynn's love for Shelby is stronger than all others, as she stays by Shelby's side till the very end. “[M'lynn] I stayed there. I kept on pushing...But finally we all realized there was no hope. At this point I panicked...they turned off the machines. Drum couldn't take it. He left. Jackson couldn't take it. He left. It struck me as amusing...But I could not leave” (67). This quote proves that the love that Shelby and M'lynn have, is the strongest love of the entire play. Drum and Jackson did not have the strength to watch Shelby die, but M'lynn did. She had the fortitude to stay by her daughter's side so Shelby was not alone as she slowly passed on into the next world. Taking into account these examples, it is safe to say that the love M'lynn had for Shelby was unparalleled by any other character in the play.
Even though Shelby died, M'lynn's love for her does not. M'lynn actually found new ways to be connected and cherish her daughter. “I realized as a woman how lucky I was. I was there when this wonderful person drifted into my world and I was there when she drifted out. It was the most precious moment of my life” (67). The death of Shelby allows M'lynn to see things in a...