I would like to write this tribute to my mom. Of course all moms deserve tributes because they give so much of their own to others; but I think my mom deserves a special tribute.
I’ll start with saying that she and my dad have raised ten kids; and of course, we are all very grateful to her and Dad for everything they’ve given us (which I think I can say is everything we have – a lot!), there is something in particular that Mom has given us that not everyone is blessed with.
I remember it very early on. She would do little things that at the time seemed perfectly normal, but when I look back I can see how exceptional they really were. Things like browsing garage sales for old books, reading these books to us for hours on the couch, taking us to the local library for arts and crafts, the list goes on… I guess when I write these instances they don’t seem special or extraordinary in the least, but there is a theme that runs through everything she did then and continues to do now for my younger siblings, and it goes something like this: first, when you do something do it with your whole heart, give it everything you have; second, do something worth giving everything to. Mom gave all her energy to something she believed in: family. Specifically in showing her kids what is important in life; and while arts and books don’t scream essential at us, they do represent something that doesn’t come from many other places. Life should be full; and a full life needs those things that are valuable, not because they give us valuable things, but because they’re just valuable in themselves. Things like family and culture.
Mom showed us the value of living for culture and family by how much she would try to give us these, even (ironically enough) to the extent that she would even forego the rewards of a family life or a life of culture: things like a little free time or pleasure. She never said “enough” and believe me she could have said it many, many times. Any time there was an opportunity to do something extra or something that she thought that we would get something out of, she would go for it; even when it meant more of her time and energy lost.
So Mom, thanks for all the happy memories I had growing up, but especially for those times it may not have been so easy: when you were exhausted and thought you had no more to give; but still gave a little more; or for those late nights spent doing some things you had no time for during the day; or for worrying about us that I always thought was annoying at the time, but now I see the love in it. Because the times when things are hard and life really happens are the times we see what people really are made of, and that’s just another thing you taught us. Thanks Mom.