Happy Mother’s Day! A tribute to my mom

Mom and I…Happy Mother’s Day

It’s Mother’s Day and I hope you’re having a sweet day with your mom. I honor my mom everyday –especially when I am sick and want her soup, I call her and of course she makes it for me…(yes, even at this age), but today is Mother’s Day and I am very much so looking forward to sharing this day with my mom and my sisters (both moms too)! However way you’re celebrating, I hope your day is just perfect! I wanted to take a few minutes to share a little bit about my mom. I know you think your mom is the best, and I am sure she is. I’m certain my mom’s the best mom for me and for this, I am truly grateful.

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Family Photo: Mom, Dad and my siblings in North Carolina (1979). I was in her belly at this time.

Farmer’s daughter, sister, cousin, niece, aunt, wife, daughter-in-law, mom, refugee, immigrant, widow, seamstress, student, entrepreneur, grandmother, she’s been many things, but of all things, she’s the one I get to call my mom. Consistent, kind, fierce, reliable, strong, resilient, dedicated, self-less, she’s all of these things and she’s taught me this through the example she leads. I wouldn’t be completely honest if I didn’t share that she’s also damn crazy!

“Teacher, if Sammy no listen to you, you hit her!!!” Every year she’d always say this to my grade school teachers at each and every parent conference. Yes, every conference. Even my teachers would make fun of me. Yes, really! It was embarrassing and she didn’t care. I told her that if she kept saying that, someone would end up calling Child Protective Services…again, she didn’t care. I later asked why she’d do that and it made sense. She explained that she wanted me to know who is in charge when she was not around. A bit extreme, but I get it. She’s a strong personality and I’ve come to embrace this about her.

1985 – Mom, my siblings and I at Almansor Park. We couldn’t get the tripod to work, so my brother had to take the photo. Mom wanted us to have a family photo.

When I am tested and have a bad day and pushed beyond my limits, I often think about my mom and I quickly get over it. By the time my mom was my current age of thirty-five, she’d left her home country, had five kids, and was a young widow. She never remarried and as a matter of fact, my paternal grandparents lived with us and she took care of them until the day they died. It wasn’t so much that it was her filial duties to “obey her father at birth, husband at marriage, and in-laws when a widow,” rather she wanted to ensure that her kids would be raised in a consistent, stable and safe upbringing; and we definitely had all of this. Though we didn’t have many fancy toys or clothes, we did have consistency and plenty of love to go around.

Mom’s proudest title is Grandma. She’s got 7 grandchildren. Here she is with five of them.
Just the girls. We love mom.

To make ends meet, she would sing us to sleep with her sewing machine. That machine was on 12-14 hours a day. She was a seamstress and later an entrepreneur, only to lose her business to the LA Riots. A true Opportunist and survivor, she was resourceful and the common theme of her journey is that she’s relentless, keeps going and just does. And as she keeps going, she goes with all heart. Her English is limited, but she’s got a few phrases down. These are her most common: “Hello,” “Please,” “Eat,” “Thank You,” and “I am Sorry” –I’ve seen first hand how these phrases go a long way. She’s always instilled the importance of acknowledging others, showing manners, expressing gratitude, and being accountable and saying sorry when you’re wrong. I am forever grateful for all that she’s taught me and for how she continues to teach me.

My mom, she’s the best mom for me and for this, I am truly grateful.

Thank you Mom!



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