Moms, I honor you
My mother and mother in law are the two people who have impacted me the most. These women do not have impressive resumes nor they are well-educated. They are from traditional homes who do not value females. My mother never went to school and spent her early years taking care of her siblings, sick mother and a father who was a compulsive gambler. In spite of this, my mother is the wisest person I ever met. Her wisdom obviously does not come from books but from her own experiences. From her life I have observed that knowledge does not necessary make a person wise. It is when you remain true to yourself and live with integrity. This is the reason why it is difficult for me to be impressed by people who are “smart”, just as the Scripture warns knowledge can puff up one’s head.
She is a nurturer and a caregiver, and even to this date with frail health she still cares for her children and aging siblings emotionally and otherwise. She is what I called Jane of all trades, for she has learned to invest her hard-earned money wisely. Even though she is almost deaf now, she will wake up early in the mornings and sit faithfully in front of the TV or radio to find out the latest in the world of finance. For a woman who can hardly write her own name she is extremely in tune with the world. Compare to her, I find myself grossly naive in the affairs of the world, she has taught me the importance and the necessity of life time learning.
She is a survivor and had gone through hunger, poverty, sickness and had her heart broken numerous times. When she was a teenager she had to work for years as a laborer along side of her parents in order to pay off her father’s gambling debt. As a young woman she had single-handedly ran a rooming house in a rough neighborhood to support her family; and during the war she carried her sick new-born on her back and with the rest of the family ran for their lives. She has taught me to be a fighter and to persevere in hardships.
My mother in law, unlike my mom, came from a well to do family and is fortunate to have some education. I am not quite sure about her growing years only she had to endure a lot while she was at home. During the early years of her marriage, she was left alone in China to care for the aging grandmother and young children while her husband worked in Canada. When she finally reunited with her husband, she devoted all of her time in the laundry business in the dimly lit basement of their run down house. I remember she would be on her feet over twelve hours a day, and did laundry in an unreliable hand cranked washer and iron everything by hand. But regardless how grueling the hours were, she would make sure that her growing children were properly clothed and fed. When she was not working in the basement she would spend hours in the kitchen making all sorts of dishes for her family. Recently she came over to visit us after recovering from an accident on the icy driveway. She is not quite the same woman I saw last year, and it pains me to see her struggling with her walker. Even though she is so weak, she was concerned about making food for us. The first thing she said was to apologize for not able to make us dumplings. Her children come first in her life, and cooking is the way she knows how to show love. She has taught me the importance of family and the meaning of sacrificial and unconditional love.
My mother in law is not someone I considered as a strong woman, but as I watched her through her grief in the past few years, I can definitely see the strength of the Lord in her. She might not be eloquent in speech, and scriptures do not come pouring out of her mouth, but you can definitely see God in her. There are people who are dynamic theologians,avid readers and thinkers who command the audience of many, and yet you do not necessary see the presence of God in their lives as in this tiny woman. My mother in law shows who God is in a very simplistic, humbling and unpretentious way. In the midst of sufferings, of losing her loved ones, she shows God is forever faithful.
As I am being honored and blessed on Mother’s Day, I cannot help but think of these two special women in my life, for they have shown me what a mother is like. I am so thankful for they have enriched my life with their love.
On this special day, I want to honor you Moms, may God bless you and keep you.