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Article: Letters to a Loved One: Mother's Day Edition

Letters to a Loved One: Mother's Day Edition

Sending love and a hug to anyone who needs one. Mother’s Day can be stressful for a lot of people, so please feel free to skip. But, if you’d like to read, we’re sharing three incredible letters written to honour those who have nurtured — in their own ways — and despite different looking relationships, have built up the caring spirit within. 

Hi Momi,

I’m writing this mini letter as if I am texting you. You know, how we usually communicate if we are not in the same room. And how I now start my morning when I say my prayers and talk to you… Hi Momi.

I’m thankful that I was able to always, always tell you that I love you. We really didn’t need a special day to honour you and remind you that I love you because I always did. We always did. Everyday we did. Because growing up, … Ann,  Marc and I told you every single day we love you. And even now, when I wake up, I continue to tell you I love you. How lucky am I that God picked you as my mom. And allowed us to have almost 39 years together. And most of all, helped me raised Mateo …. your first grandchild.

I guess it’s just a little different and very hard this time around because you’re no longer physically here. I never imagined life can be this hard without you. It’s been 6 months and it hurts every single day. But not a day, or minute goes by that I don’t think of you and say, “Hi Momi, I miss you soooo much, I love you sooo much and hope you are ok now”.

I hope this Mother’s Day, we can meet each other in my dreams. Hang out for a bit, eat some Chinese food and chill out. And tell you again, in person, that I love you forever and that to me, Mother’s Day is every single day because it really is when I am so blessed to have you as a mom. You’re just the best.

I love you Momi, see you in my dreams.

Ineng (Baby girl in Tagalog) 


An Ode to my Grandmother, Gram’e’,

I remember when you existed in the physical realm with me. If I close my eyes, I can almost feel your buttery, smooth, warm brown hands running through my hair. 

I wish I could bottle the scent of you Grandma. It is slowly dissipating from all of the clothes I’ve kept of yours. The children use them all the time. I like to think that your essence is being absorbed by them…slowly.

I miss your crooked smile. I miss your sweet, kind eyes. I miss messing up your perfect hairstyles and teasing you about having to put your lipstick and perfume on before you did anything. 

Sometimes I feel like we still do have our wonderful conversations. Sometimes I know we do. I cannot tell you how much they meant to me. You created the space, without any judgment, for me to express who I really was — even though it is only now, many years later, that I feel I’m truly beginning to understand who that really is.

You really helped lay down my foundation. With each brick you taught me so much about being the person I am today. You taught me to be brave! You celebrated my intelligence, instead of only praising my beauty. You challenged me and always urged me to be the very best I could be. You helped me discover my wings and are now helping me fly.

You were my best and most indulgent best friend. Your belief in me encouraged so much greatness in my character. I would never have been able to discover the light within me, if I hadn’t first seen it through your eyes.

I find myself wishing that teenage me hadn’t felt too old to cuddle up with my Grandmother. Now that I’m a mother myself, I can’t imagine how much that must have broken your heart. I hope you know that thirty-seven year old me would give anything to be sheltered in your embrace once more.

Thanks to your energy, I feel I know my truth, ever so clearly. I am here, just as you were, in service to this Earth and all of its inhabitants. I will continue to do everything I can, just as you did, to help all who come to me for healing of any kind- body, mind, heart and soul. 

Thank you for teaching me that giving true, unconditional love is a choice that we make, as a gift to ourselves and it transcends all of the supposed boundaries we put on our hearts.

I love you, my darling Gram’e’, always and forever.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Dear A-Ma.

I used to think the world was divided into ‘good’ moms and ‘bad’ moms, and that I was unfortunately saddled with the latter.

You and I were always.. fraught. You were prone to fits of rage, you lashed out both physically and emotionally, and you left me with indelible scars. I, in turn, punished you by going to live with a whole other family at the age of 7, leaving you to deal with your demons on your own.

Today, I know I would have found a way to survive, even if I had stayed with you. Despite your ups and downs, you tried to do right by me. True, your behaviour was hard to tolerate and interpret, especially for a child. But with the wisdom that comes with time, I am able to understand that you were coping with motherhood, while struggling with mental illness and reliving the traumatic relationship with your own mother.

In the last few years of your life, we found a way back to each other. As a grown woman, I was able to meet you more than half-way, and in doing so, I discovered in you a curious and compassionate being. I treasured our conversations, which meandered from the practical to the magical. I was surprised to discover that your spirit was more like that of a child’s, than that of a weary woman in her 80s. I came to see that you were likely ill-equipped for the role of mother, because your own childhood had been fractured.

A-Ma. Ten years to the day that you left us, I gave birth to a child of my own. Most days, I am present and engaged, I go the extra mile, I sacrifice and I love with abundance. But in my lesser moments, when he’s crying inconsolably, I can feel lost and out of control. As I stumble my way through my own version of motherhood, I know the world isn’t actually divided into ‘good’ moms and ‘bad’ moms. Instead, the world is full of moms trying to do their best. Just like you. Just like me.

Happy Mother’s Day, A-Ma,
Your little Bao

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