I have such mixed emotions about writing this blog. On the one hand, I would love to write about my mom and to celebrate her life. On the other hand, I am afraid that I won’t do a work job writing about her. Just thinking about her brought sad memories.
The day seemed to match my mood on Mother’s Day (5/12/13). It started as dark and cloudy, and it was such a shame since Wells Gray Provincial Park in BC is an incredibly beautiful place, even in this grim, rainy day. I can only imagine how pretty it would be in a sunny day.
My mom left us last September, almost 8 months ago. To me, it seemed as if it was yesterday. I am so grateful to have such a loving, caring and intelligent mom like mine. As a kid, like many other children, I didn’t know exactly how blessed and privileged I was to have a mother like that. Fortunately, I realized how lucky I was, many years before she passed away so that I was able to express my gratitude to her (and my dad, of course) and I made sure to spend as much time as possible with them, even when we were separated by thousands of miles.
Most of my friends appreciated (and praised) me for the fact that I left US three years ago to take care of my parents in China. Deep down, even though I knew I have done probably more than a lot of people would do for their parents, I still felt that I didn’t do it perfectly, especially with my mom. If only I could do a little better! This slight regret made me feel sad whenever I think about her. Tears stung my eyes as I thought about her. It was raining. Water droplets rolled down my face. Was it rain or tear, or both?
I do think about her a lot, not just on Mother’s day! For the past 8 months, I have never seen a flower without thinking about my mom! She loved flowers so deeply and with such passion that to me, “flowers” and my mom became one entity. I even had trouble taking pictures of flowers at first when I was in Australia last November since my mom wasn’t able to see them anymore. My dad and I had been taking pictures of flowers for her for the past decade!
In the afternoon, the sky cleared up a little as if my mother was telling me that enough grimness and sadness. “Go on! Enjoy life!” She would say that to me if she were there. So I took a couple of pictures of wildflowers in her honor. My mom loved all kinds of flowers. The reason she loved the wildflowers is for their toughness, for their hardiness, for their willingness to fight to live even in the barren and rough environment.
My mom was just like a wildflower: strong, tough! A stroke happened about 20 years ago made her half paralyzed. She couldn’t use her right hand or leg any more. So she learned to use her left hand to write and to draw! In the last 20 years or so, she had published close to a dozen books including 4 children’s book (“scientific fairytale”, as I call them) with tens of thousands of words, each, all written by her left hand!
Indeed she was like a wildflower, bloomed with such a beauty and grace. She was also such a free-spirited woman with her own philosophy to live or die! Then the flower withered, as “part of natural cycle” as she explained. What she left is her legacy and her seed of love in the next generation – love for family, kindness to others, passion for nature and the choice to live a full and productive life!
My mom used to say that “No matter how much we love each other or not, we wouldn’t see each other again. There is no next life. All we have is this life, this life-time!” As a biologist, I agree with her that there is no next life. But believe me, I wish there is a “next life”. In this next life, I would be my mom’s daughter again and I would be a better daughter next time around!
So on this Mother’s Day, I am going to say Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, one more time. Mom, would you please be my mother again next time? Please?!
PS. Wells Gray Provincial Park is a huge and amazing place, with high mountains, extinct volcanoes, alpine meadows, temperate rainforests, tall cedars, a number of waterfalls, many lakes, lots of birds and bears (I have seen one!). I was surprised to see that a wonderful park like this is completely free to the public. Then I realized why – the scenery by the side of road (highway 5) up north looks so much like the park with all those amazing elements.
PS. my photo website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/qing-yang.html