An appreciation towards our mothers on Mother’s Day.
by Summer Wong
When I was a senior in high school, I was the president of the Stand Up to Cancer club on campus. Being a leader of the club was my whole life at the time. I was organizing huge events left and right and I was determined to reach the ambitious goal of raising $10,000 for charity by the end of the year.
The annual Light the Night Walk was coming up — an event in which cancer supporters and survivors lit the night sky with lanterns as a symbol of strength and hope. It was a day filled with entertainment, fantastic food, vendors, and raffle prizes. My team and I spent months planning this event. However, disaster struck when our caterer had a family emergency on the morning of the event and was unable to come.
I was devastated and distressed. Selling food was where a majority of our profit was predicted to come from. And to my dismay, no restaurant was willing or able to cater at the last minute.
When my mom heard about this, she immediately went to the grocery store and hoarded back truckloads of food. She told me that she would be willing to cook at the event, and spent the entire afternoon planning, calculating and shopping. I was saved. During the event, the attendees could not get enough of my mom’s homemade Chinese cuisine and barbeque, and the lines extended all the way to the streets. By the end of the event, all of the food was sold out and we had raised way more than I had anticipated.
My mom really saved the day. She knew how important the event was to me, so she went out of her way to help me out. It’s something I will never forget, and it is one of many things that constantly remind me how lucky I am to have a mom like her.
by Guillermo Paez
Ma, you are not a hero but a martyr, for you have sacrificed part of your life for me; for an idea, a vision, a dream. A dream so vividly painted as the American Dream that not even your roots could retain you to the soil where you were loved…and where you loved. Where you loved your mother, for whom you cry on this day. Not because she has passed, but because you can never see her again, you can never touch her again, you can never hug her on Mother’s Day again. You tighten your fists and press your fingers as you hear her voice on the phone. You remain silent to prevent the break in your voice as you allow the tears to roll down your face.
For what? To have your hands scarred by the never-ending manual labor to put food on the table? To quickly age by the stress from the bills, the rent money, and the shame? To have to cover your deteriorated smile when you laugh because you’re embarrassed that you can’t see a dentist? To have your bones ache every night and hope that don’t get sick because you can’t take a day off from work? For what?
Yet… when I ask you why, you don’t think twice about your response. You don’t even take second to think about it…
You simply let out a calm, “For you, and I would do it again.”
Ma, you are not a hero but a martyr, for you have sacrificed part of your life for me. Ma, just please don’t forget that you are not alone. Thank you, and all of the immigrant mothers like yourself.
by Ashley Duong
My mom has this special intuition for knowing exactly how to lift my spirits. I remember in my senior year of high school, soon after college acceptance notices came out, I sort of went into a bit of a slump. It was a combination of getting a bunch of rejection letters, feeling like I let my family down and realizing some of my closest friends and I were going to be off in different parts of the country very soon. I started getting moody and would stay holed up in my room for hours at a time after I got home from school. I was (foolishly) convinced I was doing a good job of hiding my feelings, but my mom definitely noticed the shift in my attitude, and one night she came down to my room and laid in bed with me. I don’t remember everything she said but she rubbed my back and gave me a long hug.
“Don’t be sad. It’ll be okay, we just want you to be happy.” It wasn’t anything particularly elaborate but it made me feel so much better about life and was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. Looking back on it now, it seems so cheesy but I was incredibly thankful for my mom; it honestly is all in the little things that she does for me that shows how much she cares.