My mother…

I was in Beijing when I found out my mother passed away.  My wife told me.  My sister had just called her with the news, a statement repeated again and again, “My mom died.  My mom died.”

This is not a phone call you ever want to receive.

I’m in Vancouver now, making arrangements.  It’s Father’s Day.  My daughter’s birthday was yesterday.  My mother will be buried this Wednesday, which is my birthday.  Not a week for celebration (though my sister has said we’ll “celebrate” our mom’s life — which takes on an entirely different meaning in the midst of this grieving process).

I loved my mom.  A hero for leaving home at fourteen years of age, walking across China with other classmates in order to escape advancing Japanese troops.  A hero for keeping herself and her children alive during — and after — the second World War.  A hero for uprooting her life when she was in her late forties to travel to Canada where she did not speak a word of English — just to start a new life, and business. My mother always looked for new, better, opportunities.  A wicked mahjong player, too.

She was a hero for battling Alzheimer’s.

I send my love to her, always.

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