A Tribute To My Mother

Kate Kuo

My mother and I are a lot alike, which is probably why we’ve clashed over the years. Yes, the teenage years were rough ones between us, and I often thought she hated me or was out to get me. What a self-centered, typical teen I was! At thirty-two and now a mother myself, I see so many beautiful things in my mother that are so constant in her.  I didn’t realize what a gem she is. My mother is an extremely humble and somewhat unemotional person, so I may not share this with her as it could make her feel uncomfortable. But to honor her, I’d like to share it with you.

Mom is a “mom’s mom” in the way that some men are referred to being a “man’s man.” She is the sort who bakes often, makes her own bread (not using a bread machine) and jam, cooks dinners from scratch, cleans the entire house a couple times a week, attended every soccer practice for all three kids, knits and does needlepoint, and every other June Cleever activity you can imagine. Although she had a part time paying job for a few years when I was in high school, she was always home when we got home from school. She read to us and took an interest in our homework. She volunteered in the school library and with the band boosters. I even remember her helping me with projects so that I could get to bed earlier.

Although my Mom expected a lot from us, she did so because she cared. Yes, she was strict. I had the earliest curfew of all of my friends and was seldom allowed out on a school night. My Mom also paid close attention to the friends I chose and made sure she knew where I was and who I was with, at all times. I’m glad she did. While my teenage mind didn’t realize she did these “aggravating” things because she cared.  I’m where I am today because she was strong enough and loving enough to be involved in my life.

During college and those first few years after school, my Mom remained my ever-present cheerleader. She was there to encourage me when I continually stressed over accounting tests and eventually took the CPA exam. She even met me for lunch during the exam so that I could relax between the four-hour sections (it used to be a two-and-a-half-day exam). At times my Mother didn’t agree with decisions I made either to change jobs or date different men, but she continued to love and support me nonetheless. She also wasn’t afraid to share her concerns with me, wanting me to learn from the wisdom of her years.

These days, my Mom is clearly in her golden years. After a career of raising three children, she decided she had no need to seek a paying job. Instead, she immerses herself in two vocal choirs, a handbell choir, volunteering in a library, reading voraciously, spending time with friends, exercising, and, of course, caring for the house and my Dad. At sixty-something, she looks less than fifty-something and is extremely fit and active. I couldn’t be prouder of her! Here’s to you, Mom, I love you dearly and thank you for all that you’ve been in my life.