I’ve talked about the strong willed, hard working traits that I’ve inherited from my mom- but that’s not to say I haven’t learned from my dad as well. My patience, my love of finding joy in the little things, and my will to help others, are all derived from following in my dad’s footsteps.
The root of my success and my confidence is education, and I owe it all to my father. My father believed that education would bring economic prosperity and a better understanding of world affairs. In order to ensure his children had access to education, my father decided to emigrate from Burma to the US, and he faced many hardships by starting over his life in a new country and new culture in his mid-forties. As fate would later show, that single decision changed the course of my life.
My mother's hands are small, but strong. They make my favorite meals when I'm back home- and I know they will always taste better because she made them. They give me relief when my legs are injured and in pain. My mother's hands are full of gifts. They deftly play Beethoven, Chopin, and Debussy on the grand piano. They are gentle and comforting around mine when we are both crying over the same Pixar movie.
Patient, hardworking, and selfless, are just a few words that describe my mother. With humble roots, my mother grew up in a small village in Vietnam and only finished most of junior high. She took several odd jobs to support her siblings, from being a street vendor to working in vineyards as a grape-picker. When our family moved to the U.S., my mother had to start all over again from scratch. Yet after all these years, she made it from living in a small apartment to owning her own house. My mom is a truly the biggest role model in my life.
With group projects, essays, and finals all piling up this month, I had almost forgotten that Mother’s Day is just around the corner. But this special day comes only once a year, and to me, my mother is the kind of special that no one else could ever top. She’s special because of her one-of-a-kind cooking; all the times she drove me and my brother to our extracurriculars; her edifying lectures; and her sense of responsibility as not only the eldest daughter in her family, but also as a wife to a wonderful husband and a hard-working mother of two young adults. She will always be one of my greatest heroes.
As a mother to two girls, I’ve come to appreciate Mother’s Day from a very special position both as a mom and a daughter. I’d always cherished the handmade gifts my girls prepared carefully under their preschool teachers’ guidance. But witnessing their pride and excitement after finally being able to share their gifts with me on Mother’s Day was truly the most fulfilling part.