Friday was my mom's birthday and we celebrated with our annual trip to a local Korean restaurant. We ate tons of kimchi, Little Clover tried the Korean pizza, and I had my usual seafood stew, but I didn't post. I had been wondering what I could say that I hadn't said before, and how could I say it to convey my love and longing for my mom. I still miss her, but I realize too she's not completely gone. She's with me always in my memories, in my son, and in what she left behind with me.
For starters, she left me her strength. She raised me by herself for the first year and a half of my life while my dad was on active duty with the Army. She left her country, her customs, her language, her family and moved to a brand new place when my dad's tour finally ended. She watched her husband go off to a war, and she dealt with a very upset teenager will he was gone. She lost children. Her strength helped her through it all.
She also left me her joy. She loved to laugh and her laugh was contagious and always girlish. When she smiled, she smiled with her entire body, and her smile beamed through her eyes. When she was feeling silly, she'd sing and dance. I never had any idea what she was singing because she'd sing in Korean. It was beautiful.
She left me her values. She loved life, she loved her family, and she loved me. Her family was one of the most important things to her, and through all the ups and downs, we were a family and still are. I'm always amazed at how Little Clover feels a strong connection to her even though they never met in person. I believe her strong sense of family comes through and is the foundation of their special bond.
I owe my mom way more than a belated birthday wish and I hope each day to be the person she always believed me to be and to use the precious gifts she gave. Happy birthday, Mom.