Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms in the world, and most of all to my own mama. I have neglected this blog as I prepare for my exams, in an attempt to not fail my classes. There is much that I want to write about: my trip to Bologna, to Ibiza, and a variety of of other things, but all will need to wait until I emerge from exams purgatory. Yet for this mother’s day, I decided to emerge just a little to write about my mom.
Rose Kennedy, the matriarch or the Kennedy Family, once said in an interview that there is no other work more important than being a mother. My mom is both an ordinary and an extraordinary woman. Growing up in 1950’s Taiwan, when the country was yet developed, she has stories about walking to school bare footed as to not ruin her shoes, studying by candlelight when there is no power. My experience in the Peace Corps gave me a glimpse of what that life may have been like. From a poor village life to middle class America, that is a no ordinary journey. During my childhood in Taiwan, mom had a jet-setting career. That was my first inspiration to have an internationally mobile life.
Yet when we decided to move to the US, mom turned down a lucrative offer in order to be with the family. Family is the center of my mom’s life, and that, while an ordinary feature of being a mom, requires extraordinary sacrifices. As an immigrant with limited English abilities, finding a job and adjusting to a life in America is no easy feat. The culture, mentality and every way of life is different. It also didn’t help that we moved into a very “white” neighborhood where people were not very accustomed to diversity. These are the sacrifices every immigrant parent makes for their children, in hope of better opportunities and bigger and better things.
Now that my sister and I are both living relatively successful and also internationally mobile lives, much more so than what my mom had, I would say that my parents’ struggles were worthwhile. Yet having kids who can rarely come home is difficult. Going home is no longer just about me, but also for my parents. Thankfully via Skype, email and the like, keeping in touch is easier now. But no matter how easy, it doesn’t compare to being able to take mom out for lunch on Mother’s day.
This year, with my limited funding as a student, I decided to honor my mom via my blog and also through To Mama With Love. I created a heartspace for my mom and donated $10 to Suraya Pakzad, an Afghan activist recently named as TIMES most influential people, she is fighting for rights of women and girls. Every year, we spent billions buying stuff for various holidays. Yet at the end of the days, it’s the thought that counts. This year, I am pronouncing my thought and love for mom very publicly, while making a tiny contribution in making the world just a little bit better.
Happy Mother’s Day to my mama and all the incredible women out there who are responsible for creating and raising amazing people!