Special Memories of My Mom

I’m feeling very sentimental today. This is a pic of my Mom with me as a baby, and later with me and my daughter around the same age. As I thought about the things that are special to me about my Mom from my childhood, turns out I ended up doing the same things she did for me growing up. I must have unconsciously wanted to share the things that made me happy as a kid with my own kids. Writing this list makes me really miss my Mom. I often gave her a hard time growing up, so it’s nice to just let her know she did things right by me, too. You rock, Mom, and I love you.

Happy Memories

My mother did my hair when I was in Kindergarten. It felt so special having my beautiful mother carefully brush my hair, sometimes braid it or use the curling iron on my bangs. She gave me her full attention, and made me feel pretty. 

My mother's after school snacks were the best! She spread a tiny bit of butter over bread and put sprinkles on it. We had a sandwich maker (the kind that seals the edges in triangles) kind of like a panini press, and Mom would make warm meat/cheese sandwiches toasted to perfection in it. Another one was the croissants she filled with meat and cheese. She cooked chicken broccoli to when the broccoli was super soft and had lost most of its color, just the way I liked it back then haha. 

My mother had CD's of her favorite music that we listened to and always reminds me of her. This cassette played while we rode in the van with Mom called "The Power of Love", which had power ballads from Celine Dion, Chicago, Phil Collins, Simple Red, and Foreigner to name a few. The ones at home we mostly danced to! Whitney Houston's "Whitney Houston", "Will to Power", and Air Supply's 1985 album.

This is really just a flash of a memory for me, but it's one of my favorites. It was very quiet, alone in my Mom's room. She held me and rocked me in a rocking chair when I was probably getting too big/old for that kind of thing. I didn't care, I loved it; it was exactly what I needed, and she made everything all better. 

I came home with elementary school projects and loved asking my Mom for help because she always came up with the best ideas. I think it was a poster of 100 things, I had the best time with her laughing and getting excited about how we were going to make it awesome. Another time I was lying in bed with her, and she was drawing something on a piece of paper for me... she was so creative, so I always asked her to draw me things.

One of Mother's favorite things to do was shopping. She found ways to enjoy it even when we didn't have much money, like window shopping or going to garage sales—and if I was lucky to wake up early enough, she'd let me come with her. She could tell if a garage sale would be a "good one" within seconds. It was the thrill of a good deal and treasure hunting with her. If I close my eyes, I can feel the crisp air warming up on a neighbor's lawn with fresh dew on it and holding my Mom's hand. I remember feeling lucky.

Mom would put special notes of encouragement or appreciation in my bag when she made my lunch. She also wrote a parent letter when I was away at Girls Camp. This meant a lot to me because even though she couldn't make it to award assemblies or most things I got recognized for, she did take time to let me know personally in writing. 

My Mom always made a big deal about my birthday :) I kind of got the best ones. She saved up all the money she earned working at McDonald's and showed up to my class with a Happy Meal for everyone. She saved up all her extra money and we went as a family to the only time we ever went to Disneyland. Those big gestures were so meaningful. I was the 2nd child who often had hand-me-downs and shared a room, clothes, friends, and my parent's affection with my siblings—but on my birthday I received extra love and quality time.

As a teenager I kind of messed up my body clock and eating signals staying up all night working, got up super early for Seminary, and never felt hungry or full. Mom didn't have to, but she was so sweet and gentle waking me up in the morning, and thoughtful about feeding me. She was kind to me when I probably didn't deserve it. I'm alive right now because she nurtured me when I was so neglectful.

We had a rose garden that we helped Mom tend. Our yard had fruit trees, strawberries, and other plants. Mom was constantly finding ways to throw a gazebo in covered in vines, or provide little sanctuaries outside. Those little spots she created and we weeded/grew together were so important to me growing up. I needed that quiet time with her, or alone in nature to relax. Bougainvillea (which covered one of her gazebos) always reminds me of her.

Life Lessons from Mom

I was a finalist in the Spelling Bee at school, and I was super nervous to be going in front of the whole school. I talked with my Mom about what I should do, and she very sincerely told me how praying would give me strength. Before that, I didn't really think to pray about school things. My Mom taught me to pray about everything that was important to me, and often by example. 

Disciplining kids is tough! We were super young playing with toys all over the floor. Dad came into the room fuming, ready to punish us. Mom literally covered us with her body and said something to him, which ended it. She gave Dad a chance to cool off instead of react. We weren't angel children (probably deserved some punishment), but Mom had compassion on us and Dad. She was a peacemaker, and helped to end conflict.

Hearing my Mom bear her testimony in church was a rare treat. It wasn't easy for her; she was very self-conscious about her accent and honestly I think her nervousness made her accent come out a lot more haha, but it was a very special thing to hear her express her convictions. She told me she came to America without knowing a single person except my father. Her family was thousands of miles away unable to attend her wedding, help her raise seven kids, or navigate the struggles of learning a new language and driving. She showed me how to be brave, strong, and full of faith.

"I'll think about it tomorrow," I'd hear Mom say. I was an impatient child who didn't understand things couldn't be done now. Sometimes you've done all you can do, and all you need is to be patient, give it time, or sleep on it. Mom was great about taking breaks, and helped me realize that some things aren't as important right now.

I always thought I was more like my Dad and had nothing in common with my Mom. Now that I read through these, I respect my Mom so much. It makes me happy feeling closer to her and maybe understanding her better. THANK YOU, MOM!!!

One Comment

  • Beverly A. Delarosa

    Anak, Thank you for the wonderful memories of being with you that I will always treasure in my life. I have been blessed to be your mother and I am equally grateful and proud to have a daughter like you. You made our lives exciting and joyful. Keeping our family together is a challenge but somehow we always manage to overcome them. Being a mother is not easy but the rewards are not of this world. I have a saying in my kitchen that says ” If It Wasn’t For STRESS, I’d Have No Energy At All”. My energy comes from all my children and I love all of you. You hide your hands under your desk and I found out you can type 90 words per minute at a very young age. You learn how to play guitar and piano also. You especially made my life easier raising you cuz you hang out with your father wanting to learn more in the high tech world and partnering with him making money had helped us financially. You are very smart, talented and full of life and energy. I remember taking you for a four wheel drive on a rainy day and it was like the most exciting adventure we did together getting that Xterra so dirty. Thank you for reminding me of your memories of me and you. I might not remember things as I aged but I hope and
    pray that you can make more memories with your children and I can witness some of the events in your life. Luv yah always and forever ❤️👩🏻Mom

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