I remember when I was a little girl,
My mother was the smartest person alive.
She knew everything life had to offer,
And always told me that “It’s never a one-way street.”
That there was always a way to get to where you want to go.
She was also the strongest woman I knew.
Cracking open crab shells one crab after another.
Dicing meat faster than I could blink twice.
Walking from the stove to the counter,
Carrying pots and pans, boxes of ingredients,
All the while carrying my little brother on her back in a satchel.
She really was Super Woman then,
and still is.
Sometimes, she reminded me of Inspector Gadget.
She always found the cleverest ways to patch things up.
We didn’t live with money.
So when the cushions of our dining chairs peeked out from under the covering,
My mother would cover it using a different cloth.
To save on buying a dryer,
Our basement was one entire drying room.
Knobs falling off the pots?
Don’t worry those wood chips blocks saved in our backyard will work.
Intelligent and smart she is.
Mother’s day is coming up,
And I will never forget the first time I was able to tell her ‘Happy Mother’s Day’.
She doesn’t speak English and my Cantonese is only as good as the exposure around me.
I came home from Chinese school with a card and a flower out of tissue paper I made,
Written in Chinese was ‘Happy Mother’s Day’.
As I opened the door,
I ran to my mother who was already cooking up a feast and handed both to her.
She chuckled, bent down and hugged me and said,
“Thanks, Fong. Every day is Mother’s Day with you.”
She kissed my cheek,
And off I went not only knowing that I made my mother’s day a little more special that day,
But that I was the luckiest little girl to have such as woman as her as my mother.