09 May 2010

To Mom:

Thank you. Thank you for everything. For leaving your homeland when people told you not to. For landing in the middle of the US, alone with no family and few friends waiting. For walking to the hospital in a bitter Chicago snowstorm to bring me into the world.

For surviving.

For living through things that I don't ever want to repeat, except maybe to your grandchildren, and only to let them know that the toughest person I ever knew was a soft spoken, petite filipina.

Thank you for being a hard ass. Not just through words, but through example. Multiple jobs. Multiple buses. Selfless and unselfish you suffered every day because you wanted a better life than the one you left behind. Work all day, then school at night in one of the worst neighborhoods in the city.

I didn't understand then, but I do now. My children don't understand now, but I hope they do when they get older.

If they don't then I would have failed them, because we could not do what you did to get us here. It is on your shoulders that we stand, within grasp of opportunities that would be worlds away if you never got on that plane.

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