All The Moms

Baby Yvie

Every Mother’s Day since I became a mom I think about all the moms that have influenced the person I’ve become. We didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day growing up so now I want to thank the moms in my life for the lesson’s they’ve taught me. Here are my reflections and some photos of us then and now.

Happy Mother’s Day to My First Mom

Mom and I. 1992
Mom and I 2019

When I was younger my mother always wore a skirt and heels. ALWAYS. Well, except when she was taking out the garbage in her underwear. True story. She always had her hair done and makeup perfectly applied. She worked long hours and like other 2nd generation children of my era, I often had to fend for myself. She’s also quite the character and probably got my strange sense of humor sharing her DNA.

I want to recognize my mom for teaching me to be independent and take pride in my appearance. She’s the reason I don’t go grocery shopping in pajamas!

Happy Mother’s Day to My Grandma


At 30 days old I was sent to live with my grandmother. She is the first mom I knew. This old and grainy photo is the only one I have of us together. From her I learned to enjoy the simple things in life. She had a pet turtle that lived on the terrace. Each morning we would head out to the terrace to do laundry (with bar soap and a wash board!). The turtle would come out of hiding and Grandma would give him some cabbage and old rice. She loved that turtle and she loved me. On nights when it was too hot, she would fan me until I fell asleep. We would often sneak out to Beitou market to buy treats like mochi, shaved ice, taro bread; all the foods she was suppose to avoid due to her heath. Some days we went to Guandu Temple to visit the mini zoo at the top of the hill. I didn’t have many toys but I had all I needed.

She’s the voice of reason in my head, the core of my moral background. She’s also the reason for my sweet tooth!

Happy Mother’s Day to My Auntie

Auntie and I. 1994
Auntie and I 2019

My grandparents and I lived with my uncle, auntie, and their 2 children. My auntie cared for 3 generations squeezed into a tiny 2 bedroom house. Her days started at 6 am with wiping the floors on her hands and knees with a rag and tub of water. To this day this is how I clean my floors. She cooked 3 meals a day, did all the shopping, and cleaning. She still remembers my favorite foods and prepares them when I visit. She took me to get my first perm. It was also my last. She still teaches me how to shop at the market, which fruit to pick, how to buy fresh fish or meat. She’s the most motherly mom I know.

I want to thank my auntie for teaching me how to be nurturing. The thought of her happy face puts a smile on mine.

Happy Mother’s Day to My Sister Mom

Judy and I. 1982
Judy and I. 2019

At 7 years old I went to live with my sister. She was 17 and a new mom. My brother came to live with us soon after. She never made us feel like we were a burden to her. She made sure we went to school, did our homework, and never went hungry. She took us to the beach often. It was free, lol. We were happy children. I can’t image how she did it. She was a single teen mom. Now she is a proud mom of two college graduates.

My sister taught me to be resilient and to push through the struggle. It’s the struggle that makes us kinder people.

Happy Mother’s Day to the Other Moms

I was a timid child. In 7th grade on Valentine’s Day a boy name Jeremy gave me a rose and asked if I wanted to ‘go steady’. I don’t think I knew who he was until that day but I was elated nonetheless. Then I found out there was another girl he asked to ‘go steady’ with him. She wasn’t timid. She was strong and said we were kicking Jeremy to the curb. We became friends that day. I spent a lot of time at her house during the years before college. Her mom is an art teacher. She taught us how to sew, paint, and other crafts. They were a normal American family. They watched movies together and had a real sofa and a home that was tastefully decorated. I still have a sewing machine and think of her mom every time I take a sip of water from my re-purposed jam jar.

After high school I moved to Illinois where my first boyfriend lived. His mom was my best friend then. She is a kind and loving soul. She opens her heart and home everyone. Her house was a crash pad for drunk college kids and a refuge for stray animals. I don’t know how she put up with it! She taught me that your mom can also be your friend, and to love your children unconditionally.

Happy Mother’s Day to My Newest Mom!

Mason and Grandma
Grandma and Yvie

My mother-in-law makes me feel like I’m the best mom my kids could have. She showers her grandchildren with toys and love. So.Many.Toys. My husband tells his mom everything. They have a bond I hope to have with my children. I’ve heard stories of all my husband’s crazy stunts growing up. There was the time he bought a car when he was only 13 and didn’t have a license. He thought it was legal for him to drive as long as he wasn’t on the street, so he drove through his neighbors’ lawns! Once he was on the phone with his mom while fleeing from the police for unknowingly borrowing a stolen motorcycle. In the future I hope I can channel some of her patience and ability to remain calm when my children pull some crazy stunts like their dad!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. Hope you are feeling loved today!

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