My mom is very devoted to her family. Although she doesn’t show it in traditional ways, she is willing to give and sacrifice her needs for her children.
What did you learn from your mother about being Taiwanese? (妳從妳母親那兒學到甚麼是一個台灣人?)
My mom is very devoted to her family. Although she doesn’t show it in traditional ways, she is willing to give and sacrifice her needs for her children. Because family and respect for elders is an important role in Taiwanese culture, she demonstrated that since we were young by taking us to visit our grandparents every weekend (with the weekly McDonald’s treat), making sure we acknowledged our elders at family functions, and quietly scolding her children if we got into an argument with our elders.
Also, being one of the oldest siblings, she also made sure that we knew we had to provide for our younger siblings such as letting them have the first pick or making sure we shared our goodies with them.
Tell us about one of your earliest memories of your mother. (妳對母親最早的記憶是甚麼?)
When I was in school, my mom used to make marshmallow creme puffs for breakfast on the weekends. It was so nice to have that treat and because there are 4 children and 2 of them are boys, it was also a good way to get us up early because we knew the early bird gets the worm.
What is the most important thing you have learned from your mother? (妳從母親／女兒學到的最重要的是甚麼?)
Sacrifice. During the recent years, as her parents got older, my mom would increase her visits to ensure her parents had everything they needed and would buy groceries for them. When her mother passed away, she took on the responsibility of taking care of her father and retired from her job to care for him full time.
Tell us about the ways that your mother makes you proud. (妳母親／女兒讓你感到驕傲的是甚麼?)
She is welcomed and loved by so many people despite working a minimum wage salary. My mom worked as a cashier lady at the cafeteria at NIH and was so popular with NIH employees and her co-workers. As a child, it was so nice to see how much people enjoyed working with her. Also, Taiwan Night used to be held in NIH’s auditorium so she would always take us to see her work and some of the late night staff since she knew the way around.
When NIH built a new building on the campus, she was selected to work at the cybercafe. She was so proud to be working at this new location. As I visited from college, I knew I already had to dedicate one day to visit my mom at work so she could show me off to her colleagues. Seeing her so happy and interacting with her colleagues makes me proud because she’s introverted and doesn’t usually interact in social events.
Tell us about how your mother inspires you. (妳的母親／女兒如何激勵妳?)
I want to emulate her devotion to family and kindness to strangers.
As time has gone on, how has your relationship with your mother changed? (隨著年歲的增長，妳們母女關係有怎麼樣的變化?)
I’m able to understand her better and where she comes from. We’re able to talk about deeper issues as adults talking to adults.
What is one thing that you would like your mother to know? (有那件事是妳希望讓妳的母親／女兒知道的?)
I hope she knows that she’s respected and loved by her children so much.