Saturday, May 7, 2011


This is my lovely mom.

(My mom has as habit of posing with random items. My guess is that she's watched one too many episodes of The Price Is Right. This photo is about 12 years old, but she's aged really well, so it's not too far from the truth)

First off, I just wanna say that we don't always see eye to eye. P knows first hand just how crazy she makes me sometimes. My mom has what you call "selective hearing." Basically, anything I consider important, she conveniently loses her hearing. It causes me to repeat myself (which I hate to do) all the time and it drives me crazy! She's an absolute horrible listener! As a nurse, she makes for the worst kind of patient. She doesn't take care of herself as well as I beg her to. She has the idea that if she can eat, then she's fine. Ugh. Again, drives me nuts. She never remembers that I hate mushrooms, she's always trying to poke me with needles, her purse is waaay too big for her, and even if there were proof, she'd never admit she was wrong. But that is the extent of my complaints(at least for today). Notice how short this paragraph is. :)

Now comes the love.

Other than the above, my mom is perfect. She is truly the strongest, most positive person I know. I often wonder what she was like as a child. She tells me that her and her siblings used to play till they passed out and that she only remembers laughing a lot. Man! That sounds awesome. It doesn't surprise me. My mom is always happy, always cheerful and always looking forward. I love that about her. There are no regrets with her. I think she feels like it's a waste of time, which it is!

As far as I can remember, my mom has been epitome of cheerfulness. I didn't realize what an asset this trait was until recently. Each day, she drives through the same dreadful LA traffic that makes all of us insane. All day, she deals with difficult Korean patients that don't listen or make appointments. Comes home to cook for her husband, her picky daughter and son-in-law, in a terribly outdated kitchen, no less. Plays the part of the lovely, submissive wife whenever she's with my dad (but we all know who really wears the pants). Sadly, she has not had a vacation in years. I can't even count how many years. And the only time she took off was to take care of me when W was born. In fact, she hasn't had a free weekend in at least 4 years. Ever since my dad started his restaurant business, my mom has been working 2 jobs. Can you imagine working 7 days a week for 4 years straight?!! She's a complete workaholic and thinks resting is for the dead.

The woman never goes shopping for herself. You think I exaggerate, but I'm not. Any money she has, she spends on food to feed her family or to buy her grandson clothes and toys. I don't remember the last time she ever brought home something she had bought for her own use or pleasure. Last year, P thought it would be nice to take my mom shopping for her birthday. So we went to a mall and you could tell, she hadn't stepped into one for a very long time. She looked lost. It made me want to cry. My mom, a typical woman who loves clothes, jewelry, shoes and purses, has not been shopping in a decade! I hate shopping and even I NEED to go to the mall once in a while. Thankfully, she has wonderful people around her who gives her clothes and whatever essentials a woman needs in appreciation for her friendship and hard work.

And I love that she's not self-centered. It's never about her. For instance, her birthday. She doesn't expect the world around her to stop and notice this important day. She's mature enough to know that life gets busy sometimes and flexibility is virtue. A birthday cake a week later tastes just as good. She doesn't look at another person and think..."how come I don't have what they have?" or "I wish this..." and "I wish that..." My mom is a real-life PollyAnna. If she lost a finger, she would probably say, "Well, at least I still have 9 others." No joke. Any other woman would be bitching to a girlfriend or complaining to her husband about all that she is deprived of. But not my mom. She gives so much and receives so little in return. To me, she is simply amazing. I could never put up with all that she does. Even if I had to, I would never be able to do it with a smile.

And then there is her role as a wife. My dad is not an easy person to live with, let alone be married to. It must be hard for a free spirit like my mom to be trapped under tradition and culture. But she handles it beautifully. My dad is the youngest of 4 boys and the prince of his family. Need I say more? So you can see, my mom had her work cut out for her from the start. And though my dad may be the big talker and think he's the center of attention, I know that it is my mom that people are drawn to. Without her, my dad would be a lone geezer somewhere, with no one to listen to him.

What I love most about my mom is how easily she laughs. She almost laughs too much and too readily, but it's a flaw many of us could only wish to have. It's as if she knows something we don't. I remember a few times, when I was a child and being scolded by her for whatever reason, in the middle of her anger..she'd just start cracking up. She'd laugh so hard that she would start wheezing. Of course, that kind of laughter is contagious and you'd end up with the two us in tears, rolling on the floor, trying to catch our breath. We didn't always fight this way, but we did it quite often. Isn't that the BEST?!

I remember when my mom came to the hospital after W was born. She came up to my bed, held my hand and started crying. She almost never cries. Strong, I tell you. But I think at that moment, it was about finally having something in common. Our lives are so different, growing up in different different times. She came from a big family, where I am an only child. Though we share a few quirks and traits, for the most part, we are very different people. So when I became a mother, it was as if for once, we were on the same page. And without having to say anything, I knew she was excited for the both of us.

To this day, I have friends who ask about my mom, even though they haven't seen her in over a decade! That's the kind of impact she has on you. For such a small person, her personality fills up the whole room. I'm so blessed to have her as a mother and a role model.

Happy Mother's Day! I love you, mom!!