To Mama Chan

Mother's Day 2013

People say I look like my mother. Every time I go back to visit relatives or meet my parents’ friends in Hong Kong, they always bring up our resemblance. Even my mother herself agrees that we look alike. She was especially surprised when she saw my new passport photo that was retaken this year. When she saw it, she exclaimed, “You look exactly like my old passport photo!”

That’s not all. People say I sound like my mother too- especially when I speak in Chinese. That I can kind of understand since my biggest source of Chinese influence comes from my parents and what they say.

And what do I think? I don’t think I’m like my mother at all.

My mother is someone I haven’t really gotten to know until recent years. She used to just be that nice lady who cooked my meals every day and night and washed my clothes and drove me to places. And then for awhile she was that annoying, nagging lady who could never see things the way I saw them and wasn’t willing to try. I went through some things in high school (like everyone else), and when I finally started opening up to my parents, I immediately started to regret why I didn’t do so earlier.

My mom is pretty cool. Her cooking is the best I’ve ever tasted. I have the pickiest appetite and not only do I prefer not to eat out, I have a low tolerance for leftover food from the day before. My family also has a diverse set of preferences when it comes to food, but she always seems to effortlessly please everyone with her home-cooked meals. She has this insane, high-tone laugh and the longer you listen to it, the more you want to laugh even if there’s nothing funny happening at all. It’s as if her happiness is contagious.

I see my mom more like a friend now. She is someone I feel comfortable talking to no matter what the topic is. And I really appreciate that because it’s a kind of relationship I didn’t have with her before.

There are some things that I do think we share in common. But I feel that other people overestimate me when they group me together with my mother.

She is someone I can’t even compare to. Yeah, maybe we share some of the same facial features. Maybe the way we speak sounds the same. But that’s all on the outside.

My mother is extremely hard-working. She never had the opportunity to receive a higher education, but in everything she does I can always see her effort.

My mother is strong. She followed my dad all the way to Canada, left her friends, family, and job behind. She raised my sister and I up in a faraway land. She took on multiple self-employed jobs and built relationships within the community.

My mother is smart. She’s a relatively good judge of character and knows how to deal with people. She has a lot of common sense in areas I could never imagine. She handles money matters efficiently.

My mother is forgiving. My mother is loving. My mother is beautiful.

I am a bitter person. I hold grudges. I do not love people. And for a very long time I did not even love myself.

But she forgives me, a person who has hurt her. She loves me, a person who does not love others. And she thinks someone like me who is so lacking, is beautiful.

Thank you for loving me.

Happy Mother’s Day everybody!

It seems to me that my mother was the most splendid woman I ever knew… I have met a lot of people knocking around the world since, but I have never met a more thoroughly refined woman than my mother. If I have amounted to anything, it will be due to her.

– Charles Chaplin

Sincerely,
Loewe

Throwback post for July 15, 2015’s daily prompt: Dear Mom

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One thought on “To Mama Chan

To Loewe:

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