I was thinking about my mom today, ironic since Mother’s day is coming up.


I really do think I appreciate what I have, but to what extent? To what extent do any of us appreciate anything we have. As much as we tell ourselves we do, its hard to be fully aware of all that we posess until its lost.

I keep telling myself I need to spend more time with my mom. I want to share with her what’s going on in my life and my feelings about everything as well as hearing hers in return.  I think about it constantly but don’t execute it nearly as much. Mainly because language barrier makes it harder for me to fully express anything, especially complicated terms I can’t translate in my own language. Regardless, sometimes its not all about speech. Just about presence.

I was thinking about the kind of life my mom has lead and how she can still maintain the strength to continue not only caring for herself, but the full benefit of four others.

Everytime I think about this story, I start to get all teary like a pansy. When my mom was younger, she dated a guy for almost eight years and they were engaged by the time he left to America.  He traveled on a crammed boat with many others, lacking food and water at sea for days at a time. Eventually, he passed away. My mom told me she even considered becoming a monk for the rest of her life after the accident. I just..can’t even imagine. I’m sitting here complaining about my relationships, or lackthereof, while my mom went through something so tragic that it brings me to tears no matter the amount of times I’ve heard it.

My mom was an only child. She was sheltered throughout her life because my grandparents were so ardent about her success and pushed her to exceed to greater heights in school. My mom was a glutton for knowledge, she loved to learn and gain new information. Even though she was a sucessful teacher, she was also in the process of completing her international law degree to fullfill her dreams of traveling worldwide in the world of law. Before she could finish however, communism took over Viet Nam and ceased her education. After getting married and having kids, she attempted to once again go back to school and achieve her most desired dream. 

What happened this time?

She sacrificed everything; her life, being with my grandma, her career, her home, in order to move to the states so my brother and I can fullfill our dreams. So we can gain a better education. So we can suceed. So she cannot.

Ever since we’ve been in the states, my mom’s been working entry-level factory jobs or in the food industry in order to keep our family afloat. One crappy job after another, degrading her years of education.  To everyone else, she’s just another minority with poor English and no voice. In reality, my mom’s one of the most intelligent people I know. Both personally and eudcationally. All for what? All so my brother and I can abuse the assimiliated life of living here.

After almost an entire lifetime of sacrificing for those she loves and working days, nights, weekends, and holidays in order to have the luxuries we currently have now, my dad walks out on her. Have you ever given your all to someone who walked away? 25 years of marriage, 3 years of dating, thrown into the fire and stashed away.

She’s the EPITOME of selfless. She expects nothing in return but love, that’s it. Love and acknowledgement of her deeds. Its not even about acknowledgement, really. Just growth, progress, and sucess.

Even to this day, my mom continues to sacrifice everything she has left in order to keep the family afloat. I can’t even count my last couple years of contributions because she’s given me an infinite amount in comparison. 

She always pulls through.

I know my mom hurts, I can tell by what she talks about and her expressions of things. She never lets it show though, she seems to move effortlessly. She never swims in her own self-pity or feeds off the unfairness of life. She considers herself blessed and that luck is with her, especially in the last year.

None of us really realize how well we have it until we can look past our complaints.  I can complain about work as much as I want while I sit here in an air conditioned office looking out into the streetview of a sunny sidewalk….

While my mom’s in a poorly spaced area, heated with the smells of old grease and rude consumers working her life away.

I wish I could express to her as much appreciation as I’ve written here, just verbally. And in Viet. I just hope someday I can thoroughly express to her just how much I do really love her, how much I do really appreciate all she’s sacrificed and all she’s given to me. All she continues to sacrifice and all she continues to give.

“True mothers are smarter, kinder, and better at just about everything”.
-The Game Plan