Recently my sister sent out a photo labeled: Who’s who? It was a picture she had taken of my mother and me sitting side by side, but she had used an app
that switched our faces. Even I had to stare at it for a second.
Staring at that picture brought back another memory. I was dating my husband and had just met his grandfather. He was asking me about my voluntary service
abroad that I had given during my college years. Although it hadn’t been brought up during this conversation, he knew my mother had done the same type
of thing teaching English in the Thai refugee camps during the early 80’s.
At a point in the conversation about my experiences, he looked me in the eye and asked if I chose
to serve abroad because my mom had. I quickly answered, “No! I always wanted to go. It wasn’t because of my mom.” To which he replied very matter-of-factly,
“Yes, it was.” I realized he was right. I sheepishly realized that discounted and overlooked the fact that everything I am is due to the example my
I take meals to neighbors because my mother did. I’m patient with my children because even when we were infuriating as teenagers, my mother was soft with
us. I sit by my children’s door at night and read because she read to us. I take my family on spontaneous weekend outings because my mother wanted
adventures with her family. She always wanted us to be close. Now she is the one we call multiple times a week. In today’s world you often hear the
desperate adage, “Ahh! I swore I’d never become my mother!” But, I’m grateful that even my picture has a likeness to her. And I hope that one day my
children will embrace the likenesses they have with me.