Sunday, May 12th, is Mother's Day in the states. A day where moms get pampered with Sunday brunch, flowers, and chocolates. Mother's day for me, this year, is quite different (well, there is brunch, flowers, etc. but there's more), which is why I wanted to show my appreciate to the moms.
I’m especially grateful for the moms that are in my life. I want to start with my mother, who, at 71, was able to outlast her lung tumors while undergoing chemo treatment. As of now, she’s been off of primary chemo treatment since January, and just had a terrific report card from the latest Oncologyvisit. While her body isn’t the same, her spirit is stronger than ever. Her voice still projects across the room like it used to, and I’m still amazed at her positive attitude about life. I believe it was her amazing health (and mental health) prior to the time of diagnosis that allowed her to survive far past what statistics would have predicted for her condition.
Full credit must go to my father, who tirelessly did what needed to be done, every day, to take care of my mom. He cooks every meal, does all the housework, and of course, was (and is) fully engaged with my mom’s weekly chemo treatments and other medical appointments. He’s read countless articles and books worldwide about cancer, foods that fight cancer, etc., to become an expert in oncology. He’s also kept detailed statistics about my mom’s condition, so much so that the oncologist wished he used that kind of database for his patients! I know this is a mother’s day post, but my father is my true hero, and I hope I can be half the person he is. If you haven’t noticed, my parents are advanced tai chi practitioners; and yes, my father can still kick my arse at age 74.
I’m not only grateful that mom is still here, but for all she’s done for me and my sisters. Both my parents have done an amazing job raising us, under challenging circumstances. My sisters and I have turned out ‘more than’ okay (okay, the jury is still out about me), and each of us are raising terrific children as well. While my siblings and I live quite different lifestyles, we are all good parents because of our parents’ influence. I’m doubly grateful that M can still enjoy her Ah-ma, hopefully for many more years to come!
Speaking of my two sisters, Jean and Peggy (yes, I’m the middle one), they are wonderful moms, full stop. Jean is raising three fantastic, smart, unique, and creative children that any parent would be proud to call their own. Her oldest just started college, and feels right at home in the college environment. All three are bound to bloom into global citizens that will have great influence and be good for the world (no kidding, they will). Jean is one of the hardest working people I know, and seeing her kids have blossomed is indicative of how great a mom she is.
Peggy, my younger sister, is quite the fighter. She has made 40 into the new 20. Just a few moments ago, we walked to a nearby pharmacy to pick up a few items, and the young cashier assumed she was my daughter. Yeah, that made Peggy’s day, and sort of ruined mine (just kidding…maybe). What I meant to say was that I admire her perseverance, her successful teaching career, and for taking ownership of her health by doing P90X and mini marathons… Peggy’s kids are very talented, both musically, and athletically, and you can tell they’ve taken on Peggy’s strength, and you won’t mess with those kids! Here she is, a youthful 42, with her daughters Jessica, Samantha, along with our M.
My mother in law, Win, also deserves appreciation as well. Moving from Burma, adjusting to life in the states, while raising three children, is not easy. She’s very kind hearted, and feels deeply. She was there for us when M was born, and helped us in our home for the first couple of years when we needed it most. I won’t ever forget that. While most guys make jokes about how bad their mother in laws are, I happen to like mine, and am lucky to be her son in law (aka tech support person..lol).
Whoa, did you think I would forget about my better half? I saved her for last, so I don’t have to worry about having enough writing space below. :-) As for A., she’s my one and only, beautiful (empirically true by the way) life partner and the most GIVING person I know. People might assume I fell in love with her because of her looks, but it was because of her heart (No, I don’t have a cardiac fetish). Ever since our move to Thailand, we’ve spent almost all of our time together, literally. That was quite a shift. Normally, a couple would grow sick of their own company, and need their own space to breathe, but I can honestly say that we love it. We’re not always on the same page, mind you, but we know how to work out our differences, and grow stronger together.
I wanted to focus on A’s role of being a mom. To say that she is an involved and engaged mother would be a gross understatement. She plays the role of ‘life teacher’ very well, and takes many often missed opportunities and turns them into learning lessons for M. As you’ve seen her write about home schooling M, she is extremely creative with integrating everyday resources as part of M’s lesson plans. Who would’ve thought that a ten year old would find the Dr. Oz show interesting? Well, M does now! However, being an extremely humble person (to a fault, in my opinion-don’t tell her I told you that), she won’t ever give herself that kind of credit…
A. underestimates how good she is as a mother. Seeing how happy, creative, fearless, talented, smart, and compassionate M is, at ten years young, is a testament to A’s parenting abilities and as a role model. M feels that anything is possible, anywhere on earth is close by, and just oozes creativity with her school work and hobbies. I know where all that comes from (M claims it comes from ‘her brain,’ but we know better).
Often times, being a mom is under-appreciated and taken for granted. So A., if you ever feel that sometimes, I’m here to tell you, LOUDLY and CLEARLY (that’s our conversational English class motto, by the way), that you are the BEST MOTHER any child could ever have. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
Happy Mother’s Day!! M and I love you mucho!
I wanted to end the post with some classic pics of my mom, Sue.