The woman who creates and sustains a home, and under whose hands children grow up to be strong and pure men and women, is a creator second only to God. – Helen Hunt Jackson
When I think of this quote by Helen Hunt Jackson, I think of my Mom. I think of her caring hands that looked after me in my days of youth and her words of wisdom that have shaped and sustained me as I’ve come of age. Only a mother can soothe away the pain of a child with the soft touch of her caress and with the same hands clutch them ever so tightly to her bosom in order to keep them out of harm’s way. Now that I have children of my own, I’m convinced that the love that a mother has for her child is the closest a human being will ever come to experiencing God’s unconditional love for us.
In many ways, my Mom is your typical overprotective Korean Mom, always obsessed with feeding her young. Every time I visit her, no matter what time of day it is, the first thing that ever comes out of her mouth is, “Did you eat?” A typical conversation between us may go something like this:
Mom: Did you eat?
Me: Yes, I just had lunch.
Mom: There’s some leftover noodles, would you like some?
Me: No, I told you I just had lunch.
Mom: Would you like me to make you a sandwich?
Me: No, Mom. I had a big lunch.
Mom: How about some fruit then?
Me: Did you not hear me? I’m full.
Mom: Some ice cream?
Mom: Would you like something to drink?
She is always concerned with my health, insisting that I try the most obscure alternative medicines that supposedly do wonders for almost anything from your level of energy to your level of intelligence. Oddly enough, she is also obsessed with knowing whether I’ve been keeping up with the oil changes for my car. Although it can be a bit exasperating at times, when I think about it, I realize that no one else in this world cares or will ever care for me as much as my Mom does.
In other ways, however, my Mom is not like a lot of the Korean mothers I know. She is definitely not your stereotypical tiger mom. Although my Mom has always encouraged me to do well in school and do my best in whatever I decided to pursue, she has never pressured me to go to a top Ivy League school or promoted worldly success and wealth as ultimate goals in life. Instead, she has always emphasized the importance of being an honest and humble person who has compassion for those who are less fortunate. In more ways than one, she has shown me that it is better to give than to receive. By her actions, she has taught me to give to others, whether a friend or stranger, the best of what I have instead of the leftovers. She has taught me to admire in others, their good character and pure heart, instead of their superficial qualities and achievements. She constantly reminds me to never boast about myself explaining that the wiser and more praiseworthy a person truly is, the more humble they naturally become.
My Mom is one of the most positive and optimistic people I know, always looking on the bright side of every situation. She often reminds me to smile, even when life gives you no reason to smile at times. I truly believe that my Mom’s positive and selfless attitude is what keeps our family together through thick and thin. I never completely understood where my Mom was coming from until I became a Christian and found that much of what she has instilled in me comes from the Bible. Although I often pretended not to listen to her words of wisdom, from time to time, especially in those crucial moments when I’m faced with a life decision, her words come back to haunt me. I realize that without knowing it, my Mom has built in me a moral foundation based on God’s standards. I feel truly blessed to have a Mom like mine who has taught me to live life to the fullest with heavenly success as my ultimate goal in life.
I had mentioned in a previous post that I’d be sharing more vintage photos of my stylish mom, so here are a few more.
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