A Tribute To Mama {中文在下)

Over the past two days I’ve been thinking a lot about how to express the feelings I have for my mom. Simple words like love, admiration, sadness and pride seem so inadequate to give full justice to the emotions I have inside me. I think the best way is to share  my personal origins for these words. 

Love for ones mother is universal around the world. From the moment we were conceived, mom was the one that nourished us, kept us safe, putting our needs ahead of her own and preparing us the best she could to face the world. This continued long after we left her womb and eventually from under her roof. Even though I have lived thousands of miles away from her in the last 16 years, I knew there was not a single day she did not worry about my wellbeing. If she couldn’t reach me on the phone or text, she would panic thinking the worst case scenario. I knew I had to call or text back before she called the local police to do a welfare check on me. Knowing she was always there for me, willing to do whatever and whenever I needed it has been the biggest source of assurance for my self confidence. I never fully appreciated that until it was gone. But looking back, I realize she has supported me in ways that I didn’t even realize. That is love, the only kind of love one can have from a mother. 

There are many qualities I admire in my mom. But at the top of that list is her work ethic and integrity. I have always heard her say “吃点苦不要紧” which can be loosely translated as “its okay to eat some bitterness (or endure some hardship)”. She has lived that mantra all her life, from her younger days in China during the political turmoils of the 1960s and 70s, to being a full time working mom raising two kids in a whole new country in the 90s. She never complained about hard work, instead she embraced it because it made her feel useful and valued. She worked weekdays and weekends, rarely taking any days off. Whenever people would say “you should enjoy life”, she said she is enjoying life by going to work. In the months since she became sick, I’ve heard many stories of how she had inspired her colleagues with her positive spirit and upbeat attitude. She is an example to us all, especially when we are not at our best. 

Integrity is another character trait that she held dear to. When I was a kid, I knew that nothing would infuriate her faster than not being truthful. The only times I got thoroughly spanked was when she caught me being intentionally dishonest. She can not tolerate any form of lying or cheating. Part of that is from her upbringing as my grandparents were the same way. But the other part is from her own observations of what makes a person respectable and valued. She always told me to not judge a person by their appearances or wealth but by their character. A person’s true worth is their trustworthiness, she says, if you cannot trust them, you cannot have an honest relationship with them. I took this to heart and it has saved me from some serious life consequences. Thank you mom for teaching me that. 

Last but not least, my mom was a kind person. Becoming a nurse was something she cherished because she felt it was a compassionate calling from God to help people in need. But before she became a nurse, she was an educator in Shanghai, China. She taught high school and served as assistant principal before emigrating to the United States. In her role as a teacher, she has touched many lives with her dedication and kindness. Many of her students still keep in close touch with her even after four decades because of how much she had impacted their lives. This is the ultimate testimony of her kindness and selfless dedication to making other people’s lives a little better. 

Hers was a life well lived because she gave so much in service of others. I could not be any prouder of my wonderful mother. She will be dearly missed by all whose lives she has impacted. But as long as her memories are alive in those she has left behind, she is still with us in spirit. 

I love you mama 

-Eileen

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这几天,我一直在思索怎样才能表达我对妈妈的情感,想了很多。爱戴、钦佩、悲伤、自豪只是些简单的词汇,无法确切地表达我内心的怀念。也许,最好还是来分享一下我个人对这些词汇的解释。
世人都爱母亲。从我们受孕开始,一直到我们离开娘胎,最终踏入社会,是母亲为我们提供了营养和安全,是母亲总是把我们的需要放在第一位,并尽其所能为我们做好如何面对世间一切的准备。我离家16年了,即使在千里之外,我依然知道妈妈时时刻刻都在关心我。要是她的电话和短信都找不到我的话,她就会惊慌,会想到种种可能发生的危险。所以我每次都必须赶快回复,免得她联系当地警察来查看我是否安全。每每想到在我需要的时候会有妈妈,这种安全感是我的自信心的最大源泉和保证。妈妈在世的时候,我还没有完全懂,现在回想过去,才感受到妈妈在我不知不觉中对我的支持和关爱是多么珍贵。这就是母爱,只有从母亲那里才能感受到的爱。

妈妈有很多优良品质,最让我钦佩的是她的工作态度和为人正直。我总是听她说“吃点苦不要紧”,这是妈妈的人生信条。无论是在年轻时中国动荡的1960,70年代,还是在美国当职场母亲抚育两个孩子的90年代,她都坚持不懈。妈妈对工作的辛苦从无怨言,相反,勤奋工作让她感到有成就感,活得有价值。她工作不分周日周末,很少休假。有人说“你应该享受生活”,妈妈总是回答,她认真工作就是在享受生活。在她生病的那几个月里,我听到了很多关于妈妈的故事,她乐观坚毅的精神和满满的正能量启发和鼓舞了周围的很多同事。她是我们大家的榜样,尤其是在我们的人生处于低谷的时候。

正直是妈妈珍视的另一项美德。我还是小孩的时候就知道,不说实话马上会引发妈妈的怒火。记得我唯一一次被她打屁股是因为她发现我故意撒了谎。她不允许任何谎话和欺瞒。部份原因是我的外祖父母也是这样教育了妈妈,另外是因为妈妈认为正直才能使一个人得到尊重和肯定。她总是告诉我,判断一个人要看他的人格,而不是他的外表和财富。她说一个人的真正价值在于他是否诚信,如果你不信任一个人,就不可能成为坦诚相见的朋友。这些话我牢记在心,在我后来的人生道路上避免了一些可能带来严重后果的选择。妈妈,谢谢您的教导。

妈妈的品质中最最重要的一点是:她是一个很有爱心的人。她热爱护士工作就是因为她感受到了神的召唤而要帮助伤病者。在做护士之前,妈妈是一个教育工作者,她在上海一所高中任教。移民美国前,她是学校的副校长。妈妈教书认真,待人善良诚恳,影响了许多人。因为这些,她的很多学生在毕业四十年后还和她保持亲密的联系。这是对妈妈充满爱心,无私奉献从而改善他人生活的最好见证。

妈妈的一生没有虚度, 因为她为别人付出了很多。我为我的好妈妈感到无比自豪。所有受到她影响的人都会深切地怀念她。只要对她的回忆依然活在大家心中,她的精神就与我们同在。

-佳佳


翻译: 承安, 王静莉


爱妻吴元瑾因晚期肺癌扩展至脑部于太平洋时间晚上7:09 PM 11/14/2019 在San Ramon, California USA 逝世,享年70岁。瑾瑾走时突然,但是平靜安祥。
她是一个坚强的人,在近二年与癌症的搏斗中,始终没有放弃过,甚至还准备病愈后继续工作。正直,善良,关爱,信仰,这是她一生的精神和力量的来源。工作中,她是一个好护士好老师,为病人为学生贡献自己所有的精力,她是一个“工作狂”;在家中,她是一个好妻子好妈妈,为这亇家操碎了心;在学习上,她勤奋好学,永无止境,聪明过人,还准备退休后再念亇博士学位。她正式的退休时间是9/13/2019!这是她在临终前还尽力保住工作岗位,以便愈后继续工作。
为了不让大家担心她生重病, 她坚持不让更多人知道她病了并且是致命的病,同事和朋友不 知道,甚至她的弟弟妹妹们也不知道。她操劳了一辈子。看到她用过的或有关的东西,我都会情不止禁地落泪和抽沮,愿她在天堂不要再这麽累,不要再逞强。
安息吧,亲爱的妻子瑾瑾,你并不孤单,你永远和我们在一起!

-孔祥松