A Tribute To My Mother

I usually reserve Sundays for book reviews. I don’t know why. I just do it. But today is Mother’s Day. And my Mother passed away 3 years ago on April 7, 2011. So today, instead of doing a post about a book, this post is a tribute to my mother. It won’t be nearly long enough. I won’t get out everything I want to say. But still, here it is.

My first memory is of my mother. I woke up- I must have been about 2 years old- hungry and went in search of the person who fed me. My mom. To say I love her wouldn’t cover the myriad of emotions I feel toward the one woman who not only shaped me, but shaped and informed the world around me. She was everything in my world.

My mom’s courageousness never hit me until I was an adult and realized how HARD the things she did were. Like coming to a new country, learning a new language, and permanently changing her citizenship to a country she hadn’t been born in. And she did all those things for me. Of course, my father factored heavily into these things as well. But knowing my moms, I know a huge part of WHY she did some of those things were because of me. That’s just who she was. She loved me as well.

The day she went to that Federal Courthouse to take her oath and pledge her loyalty to America was a pivotal moment for me. Although, I wouldn’t realize that until much later as well. The joy I experienced in that courtroom never left me. Never. It dictated what I would study in school and which career path I would take.

I was not a good daughter. At times, I was downright shitty. Some of the things I said to my mom HAUNT me. And I know that I’m not alone. Teenagers across the world have said things that were meant to devastate just like I did. But that doesn’t matter to me. Because I said them to a woman who deserved praise and not ridicule. Not the scorn I heaped upon her.

I was lucky to have the mom I had. I learned to be a good mom in return. I learned to be most of what I am today because of her. She should have been given a better daughter. I wish she had. Then she might have had  more than I gave her. Not that I couldn’t. I just chose not to. In my arrogance.

My mom passed away three years ago and I regret the time we lost to my own selfishness. She was a superb human being. She pissed people off because she was blunt and direct when maybe sometimes she didn’t need to be. Judgmental at times. I know her flaws as well. Still, in the balance, my scale of goodness from her tips way to my side when balanced against her scale of goodness.

My mom knew sacrifice. She went hungry many times as a child so her younger brother and sisters could eat. It was post war and Korea was decimated. She gave up so much always for those around her who she loved. She used to come over and cook and clean for me when my kids were little so I could rest. How do you even begin to repay, honor or in any other way give back what she gave? I don’t know. I just sit here in awe of my mom.

My mom passed away 4 months after I moved from close to her to far away. I miss her every single day. Every single day. I have a box with her jacket in it. I know it still smells like her. I haven’t opened the box because I don’t want that smell to go away. I want that smell with me at my time. To be wrapped up in her and have her be the last memory I have just like I had the first.

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