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A mother’s love comes in many sizes, shapes… and foods.

I love my mother. Words cannot describe how much I love her, so I won’t even type it. Variables cannot display how much I love my mother, for it is a non-countable integer. Pictures cannot depict how much I love my mother, for it would overwhelm the internet’s storage capacity.

As far back as I could remember, my mother has given me unconditional love. A rough time line that displays her love could be made through my entire school career.

In Kindergarten, she would drop me off inside the classroom. As soon as she exited the door, I would (no sarcasm nor exaggeration) immediately start bawling, run out the door, chase her down, and cling onto her thighs while desperately pleading in Mandarin, “Mom, don’t go. I’ll miss you.”

Throughout my elementary school years, my mother took me to and from school. In my latter years in Laguna Road Elementary, she began working for the school district. I always saw her at lunch, where she supervised kids playing in the fields. She brought me warm lunch in a huge lunchbox for all those years. I thanked her by scolding her for embarrassing me in front of everyone.

In 6th grade once, she gave me “trash pick-up duty” because I continually teased my crush, who told on me to her. I yelled at her when I got home. Also in 6th grade was the a field trip where the entire class went camping for three days. Upon coming back, my mom recorded me getting off the bus. I thanked her by being camera shy, throwing a fit, and having her on the verge of tears.

I walked to Parks Jr. High School for those two years of my middle school life because I lived just down the street. In 8th grade, I was part of a select few students who went to the local high school to take advanced math courses there. One time, upon exiting the bus and walking back to class at Parks, my mom stood right outside. I had forgotten something at home. She noticed the missing object, walked the distance to save me the unnecessary trouble, and waited for me for several minutes. I thanked her by taking the object from her and walking away very fast. Once again, I was embarrassed.

Also in 8th grade, I got into my first and only fist fight with my sister. Following an argument, I shoved her and she punched me in the face. My mom, unaware of the reasoning behind our bickering, responded by hitting me in the face as well. I responded by running away from home for half a day. She caught sight of me on a bike trail as I was walking home. She had been out searching for me the entire time, crying and heartbroken.

In high school, I thanked my mother by becoming an ever-increasing rebel. I raised my voice at her. I treated her like an indentured servant; she woke me up to go to school, continued making all my food (Til this day, I’ve bought lunch at school less than five times), and other shameful things that I don’t have the nerve revealing. I thanked her by being undisciplined. I thanked her by disappointing the entire family by dropping out of all my AP, Honors, and IB classes. I thanked her by attending a community college as an undeclared major, whereas my other relatives graduated from Stanford, Yale, UPenn, Berkeley, so on and so forth.

In my first year of college, I showed my appreciation to my mother’s unconditional love by being extremely disrespectful toward my grandmother. To make things even worse, I hated my sister; we didn’t speak for five or so months. I had feelings of resentment towards my father. To show appreciation to my mother, I vented all my angry thoughts about the family to her. It broke her heart.

I wasn’t a good son. In fact, I was an infectious disease for a son.

Following my first year of college, I’ve made drastic changes to my personality and behaviors. Perhaps it naturally came with age. Perhaps it came with my conscious of knowingly hurting my mother. I’ve changed a lot in these two years. As much as I’d like to Jacob Marley my way to redemption by stating all the good deeds I’ve done, this post isn’t about me. It’s about my mother, how mighty she is of a woman, and how blessed I am to have her.

Two nights ago, I laid by her side for two hours and talked with her until 2am. Those two hours destroys almost EVERY, but not all (I gotta be realistic here) parties I’ve attended, outings with friends I’ve had, and highs of many magnitudes I’ve experienced.

My mother still prepares the vast majority of my meals these days. She labels which container, package, plate, etc. is for which child of hers. A stands for Andy. B stands for Cindy. Because she must leave for work before I wake up at times, she leaves a note with directions on what we’re eating. A mother’s love comes in many sizes, shapes, and foods. My mother has her own fine line of brand name foods. Love Salad, she calls it. Love Fruit. Love Potato. Love Tuna Sandwich. Your own imagination could fill in the rest of the details.

My sister, my mother, and I.

I will never, ever, ever forget my mother’s unconditional love for me. I am the luckiest child on the planet, having been raised by her.

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