Who was there to raise you up as you are now? Who took your suffering and carried it on her heart and shoulders? Who forgave you when you were insolent and impossible but could have disowned you? Who will be abandoned when you take flight from home and move on in life? In retrospect, I believe that we take our mothers for granted too often nowadays.
You only have one mother who welcomed you into life; once she breathes her last breath, you can never complain about her cooking and argue about your latest report card. Once she merges with the Earth, the closest that you can communicate with her is through a video recording or melancholic dream.
How daunting it is that only the extremities can dissolve the mist in front of our eyes to show the true gift that was always in front of us, mothers. I, like most humans, took the genesis of my existence for granted.
Perusing a chapter on hepatology, I flipped to a page showing the images of a man with jaundice and liver cirrhosis, the effects of Hepatitis B. The curious child I was at this bizarre information, I had my mother read it to me and explain some of the terms. However, I never expected to see trickles of heartbreaking liquid trail down her eyes as she read the paragraph. I never expected uncontrollable sobs to possess her frail figure. Where did my invincible mother go? Frantic, I embraced her and consoled her until my sore jaw became a rusted hinge. No words could describe the hopelessness in her eyes. In silence, she had already declared her despair as a victim. She could end up like the man in the picture. Shocked, I reread the paragraph “In some cases, the Hepatitis B virus can cause death when it activates.” Revelation hit like a blast of wind, gradually strong yet softly sudden. Who knows when the virus will activate and take my mother’s life? After collecting her composure, Mother explained that she probably became infected with it from the unsanitary hospitals in Vietnam when she was a disease-weathered child. However unlike Hepatitis A and C, there are no cures for Hepatitis B besides keeping the virus dormant and vaccination. From that day on, I made it my goal and mission to say “I love you” to my mother and remind myself of my good fortune each night before going to bed.
Your mother contributed to your characteristics and traits, not your friends; it was partially her influence that made you who you are today, not the neighbor next door. Your mother can go away forever and never come back or be replaced while friends and enemies can be made anytime, anywhere. Once they slip through our embrace like the wind, we are left with memories and regrets. I believe that we should go to bed everyday satisfied that we told our mothers, “I love you.”
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