It’s Not About Chivalry

My hands were full.

Clutching a syringe, alcohol swabs, bandaids, and loose leaf papers, I approached the double doors with my filled fist towards my sternum, and my right arm angled outwards, ready to push the lever forward with my forearm and elbow.

Then, through the glass, an older man started towards the entrance, on the opposite side.

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Missing Mom and 井底之蛙 (Frog in a Well)

Mom taught my BIL, my sis, and I how to play Mah Jong. Pong!

Mom taught my brother-in-law, my sis, and I how to play Mah Jong. Pong!

It’s been 2 years since Mom, my mother-in-law, passed away.

Missing her is a constant feeling. Walking down the street, when the flowers are plucked off the trees and carried in the wind, I smile as I think of her.  Other days, I’m overcome by waves of sadness.  Like last weekend, at my sister’s wedding. Seeing my sister get married to my now brother-in-law filled me with unspeakable joy. But when I thought about Mom, how much she loved them both, and how she would’ve wanted to celebrate with us, my chest ached.

I cannot count all the things I miss about Mom. I miss her cheerfulness, how it filled the room with sunshine, even if the curtains were drawn.  I miss her enthusiasm to try new things, like toasted squid in Tai O Fishing Village (in Hong Kong), butter and garlic crawfish (one of the last meals we shared before she died), and embracing the cold to go whale watching (during a chilly New England autumn). I miss her presence, even if she was asleep or quietly watching tv, how it brought so much comfort.  I miss her cooking skills that introduced the vibrant flavors of Hong Kong home cookin’ into my life. I am so thankful for her, how she accepted me, how she loved me like I was one of her own, how she embraced me despite my flaws, how she welcomed me into her family from the very beginning.

But it’s what Mom taught me, that stays with me the most.

In memory of Mom, I wanted to reblog an old lesson she taught me: the Chinese proverb about the frog in the well. Continue reading