To the woman I wish I could be, I dedicate this post to you, my mother, P.
You are a woman of your own dreams and I am, too. I never asked what your dreams were and undoubtedly, I feel guilty and incredibly selfish for having my own, chasing them, and not ever knowing yours. Like many Asian immigrants, you left your home, family, and a culture you knew well to a land of unknown possibilities.
As I get older, the Venn diagram of you and I becomes more aligned. The comparisons between you and I grow as I realize that you and I are quite similar, or rather, I am becoming your mirror image.
I can only recall you being sad less than five times my whole life. The first time was when your youngest child had to get open heart surgery, another time when you picked me up from CPS, and the third time, I felt your despair as you lost your own mother.
You sharing your sadness surprised me – I’ve seldom saw you express that spectrum of emotion – so the lesson is that even the most vigorous of dragons can fall, too.
As I age, I’ve taken note that I am more than just 50% biologically you. As a person who doesn’t often express her emotions publicly, I’ve hypothesized that I’ve inherited this trait from you. There lies scores of hidden similarities between our chromosomes. Besides our eye shapes and thin eyebrows, the honesty I share with others stems from the fact that you are painfully blunt with me. You’ve taught me to protect myself by showcasing my thorns because not everyone deserves the beauty and worth I hold inside.
Thank you for teaching me an abundance of essential life lessons that I shall pass onto friends and my future children. Thank you for your sacrifices and the strength you’ve embedded in me. When I feel weak, I think of you. When I want to give up, I think you and I push on. You are the definition of a vigilant woman, so today and everyday is for you, Mom.