Pictured here is three different photos of my beautiful resilient mother.
In the black and white photo, she is 22 years old. She's holding me, maybe 6 months old. I notice how young she is, her hair worn long and braided. Both of us looking, eyes wide.
In the middle photo, she is 25 years old. She's holding my brother, just a new born. Etched in her face, I notice pain, shadows of sleeplessness, her mouth tight. I notice the frown forming in my brother's brows. She survived being pregnant with him on a crowded boat. She took many risk in order to flee from poverty, political and social upheaval, violence and trauma.
In the last photo, she is 63 years old in the present day. She's holding my niece Nova. My mother's face relaxed and smiling. Nova smiling and safe in my mother's arms.
I am so grateful for my mother's strength. I would not be here if not for her ability to survive. I work to transform suffering for her and myself. I worry for her safety even though I know that she is resilient to the core.
I found this podcast useful in how to talk to my mother about anti-asian violence.