To My Mom, My Hero

To My Mom, My Hero

I don't tell her this enough, but I am so lucky to have my mom.

This is the first Mother's Day I have missed in twenty years - this summer, I'm living in Columbus, working hard and taking classes (switching your major three times WILL set you back to graduating on time). The first Mother's Day I've missed - and so, here is the best gift I can give from 800 miles from home.

I have been blessed with a mother who is strong, funny, relentlessly defensive of her family, especially her children. My mom is the definition of "forever young" - she acts like she's still in college sometimes, and being around her is always, always, ALWAYS an adventure.

But more than that - my mother has taught me more about life than anyone I have ever known. My mom has lived through some tough times, and rather than coming out the other side bitter or resentful, she has come out the other side full of light, love, and a sense of optimism that is, frankly, sometimes quite annoying. I've never met anyone who, upon hearing I'm Debne's daughter, doesn't say, "Oh my gosh, I just love your mom." And damn right.

My mom has taught me the importance of optimism, of choosing to laugh about your embarrassments and sorrows rather than wallow in them, and that there is absolutely no reason to do anything less than your best. Most important in that lesson is that as long as you did your best, there's no reason to get down on yourself.

My mom also taught me the importance of sticking up for yourself and asking for help. This lesson was primarily taught in the fierce and unrelenting way she defended my brother and me - hell hath no fury like a Debne scorned. There is no reason to let people walk all over you or the people you love.

She taught us the importance of hard work, and how hard work, more than right place right time and knowing people, will get you farther. With that lesson, of course, is knowing the services available to you, and taking advantage of those always.

My mom also taught me the importance of being a good friend, and what that means. She was always there for advice, for problem-solving, and occasionally to say "screw them" (especially when I needed it), and to say "you're being an asshole" (ALWAYS when I needed it).

My mom is fun loving, strong, confident, and the most amazing mother a girl with self-esteem (among other) issues could ask for. I could sit here and keep telling you how lucky I am to have my mom, how incredible she is (which I could never do justice in writing), but the important thing to remember this Mother's Day is this: you probably don't tell your mom how lucky you are to have her enough. You probably don't let her know how incredible, smart, beautiful, inspirational, or any adjective you feel best describes her, enough. So in addition to breakfast in bed, and flowers, tell your mom how much she means to you.

If I grow up to be half the woman my mom is, I'd be pretty damn lucky.

Cover Image Credit: Kate Marlette

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Thank you, Mom and Dad.

To the ones who were always there from day one (literally).

A “parent” is defined as a person who is a caretaker of a child. But, you guys were so much more than that. Since it’s hard for me to verbally tell you, here is my “thank you” and “I love you” in writing.

First, thank you for choosing to sacrifice your life, family, and friends in Korea by coming to America to provide me with a higher standard of living and education.

Thank you for encouraging me to accept my Korean heritage and for not cringing when you heard my Americanized accent when I spoke Korean.

Looking back, I honestly did so many things that I can’t believe you patiently took and dealt with. I’m sorry for being angry with you for so many trivial, petty things. Thank you for being there to deal with my cranky attitude in the morning. Thank you for calling me out for being a brat, and I’m sorry for my stubbornness. When we got into fights, thank you for remembering how stubborn I am, for reaching out to me first, and for fixing our relationship again.

Thank you for taking care of me when I was sick, and I’m sorry for getting both of you sick in the process.

Thank you for all the late-night shifts you took to provide more for me. As I get older, I’m realizing how important money is, and I’m sorry for complaining when I didn’t get what I wanted (basically, sorry for being a brat, again).

It’s easy to believe that you guys will be here for the rest of my life, but as I see the wrinkles and the white hair, I am reminded that life on this earth is temporary and fleeting. I am reminded that there are not many more years left like this. However, I rest easy knowing that a better, pain-free life exists for us after this earthly life comes to an end.

Thank you, umma and appa. Thank you for being such amazing parents and for showing me what unconditional love looks like.
Cover Image Credit: Lauren Yu

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Yes, I Know I Don't Say It Enough, So Here's A Huge 'Thank You' To My Parents

Thank you for showing me unconditional love.

Thank you.

If there is a word that describes more gratitude than just a simple “thank you,” I would express that 100 times. I know I do not say it enough, and I know that I never will, but thank you for everything.

Thank you for giving me life.

Thank you for being the most loving people.

Thank you for supporting me.

Thank you for the countless hours you spent driving from different activities, having to sit through sporting events, and supporting my variety of different career paths. Never once did you let me know that I was terrible at a single thing, even though I was.

Thank you for always giving me the best piece of advice, “when you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”

Thank you for allowing me to spread my wings and go to school over 1,500 miles away to Texas that gave me a need for traveling. My anxious feet could not thank you enough for shipping me off to Europe for an entire semester to let me travel the world, considering I have now been to over 10 countries.

Thank you for letting me learn from my failures. Or when I would never listen to you guys, even though you have always been right from the beginning.

Thank you for showing me that nobody's perfect, but with hard work, dedication and love… you can come close.

Thank you for always being there when I need it the most.

Thank you always picking up the phone whenever I call.

Thank you for knowing that all the times I say “I hate you,” “You’re annoying,” or any other negative words, it is just code for “I love you.”

Thank you for showing me unconditional love.

Most importantly, thank you for giving me a voice to allow me to become the person that I am supposed to be.

P.S. Amanda and Zack, try topping that to be the favorite child ;)

Cover Image Credit: Zoe Wright

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