I was never asked by any family member to say anything about my mom during her wake or her funeral. I was allowed to make an AVP for her on her 10th day, though. I always thought it was weird since I think one of the most obvious signs of my moms generosity is me. There were so many things I wanted to say about her and our relationship that mere pictures fading in and out could not say.

If there was ever a chance I was asked to come up with something to say about my mom, this is what it would have been:

When I was a kid I saw my mom as the source of all toys. She spoiled me so much I became the brattiest brat in the world. She didn’t ask for high grades or awesome awards…and when I was recognized for something she never made a big deal out of it.

As a teenager I saw my mom as the eternal hindrance to everything. The one who never allowed me to do anything with my friends. The person who never understood why I had to go to the mall so much, or even watch movies in the theatre. She was also the one I was constantly fighting with.

As an young adult in college, I saw my mom as the one who allowed me to make my own decisions and my own mistakes. The one who never gave me a helping hand because she knew I could do it myself anyway. And the one who said: “Why do I have to tell you how good you are when you already know it?”

When I finally stepped into “the real world”, my mom became my source of strength and my main inspiration for everything I did. I wanted to achieve the things that she did, I wanted to be as brave as she was and as much as I wanted to be away from her when I was a teenager, this time I wanted to be with her more. Every night, I would come up to talk to her, not all the time but when I could. I’d sit on her chair while she lay down and watched her Korean telenovela. We’d have an exchange of daily experiences, and then say our goodnights.

It was difficult for me to come see her when I started working in production, I’d spend most of my time at work. But the thing about my mom is that, even if I came home late, or never came home at all, she knew that all I wanted to do was make better of myself and my career. She urged me to work hard and told me to never think of the amount I got each month. She reminded me of what was most important, and gave me the tools to become independent but never left my side when I needed her the most.

My mom was the one who understood and accepted me, just like she did for every person that was just a bit different, or a bit more complicated, she loved them more because she knew they needed it more. I watched my mom go to medical missions, give endlessly without asking for anything back, and accept every person the way he/she is whole-heartedly…no negotiations. Even if a lot of people would tell her that she gave too much or she never left anything for herself, that’s how she was and that’s how she would live her life, and that’s how people remembered her. Loving and forever selfless.

To my mom, with all my heart, forever.