I hope I do have her eyes.

I still cry when I start to think about her. Ma meant more to me than even I realized, and now that she is gone her impact on my life has never seemed more encompassing.

Viveros reminded me that even though I will always miss her, I should just focus on all the memories that make me smile. Although, I must admit that any memory is accompanied by tears these days. And I’m not typically the crying type.

Her simple presence taught me everything I know about love, how it should be selfless and unconditional. She would probably find this blasphemous, but I believe her love was nearly divine. As far back as I can remember, she was my mother. She cared for me in every way imaginable, as if I had also been born of her womb. And despite all of my misdeeds and angry moods, she still loved me. I could do no harm to that love. She gave, and she gave, and she gave.

My happiness, well-being and success were more important to her than anything else.

I have been meaning to visit her grave by myself, but I’m afraid my words will fail my heart. A mere “thank you” won’t suffice, but I wouldn’t know what else to say.

Lately I have found myself remembering the most obscure things. For my sixth birthday, Ma bought me the wallet from the Sanrio store that I had been eyeing for months. She and Pa even put $45 inside of it. Very soon after, I lost it at school. I don’t know if someone stole it, or if I had just misplaced. Either way, I was devastated. But I never told her because I thought it would make her sad that I had lost it already.

I wish I could hear her voice again. I wish she would cajole me into talking to my brother and cousin about college, or remind me to finish school before I even contemplate marriage and children (although she never really had to worry about that). I wish she could have seen me graduate.

Most of all I wish I had been there for her final lucid moments. Sometimes I think all I need is to actually hear her tell me that she is happy and at peace. The rest of the family heard her. My wandering ass just had to move to San Francisco.

I miss her so much. Sometimes it’s unbearable. More often than ever now, I find myself wanting the clock to turn all the way back to 1990 when I was about 4 years old and the only times I got hurt were when I was jumping on things, and Ma could immediately make everything better.


During the wake and the funeral, many people came up to me to offer their condolences. One older lady told me that I have Ma’s kind eyes.

I hope I do have her eyes. Perhaps that means I have a tiny bit of her soul mixed in with mine. And that gives me hope that maybe some day I’ll be able to love people at least a little bit like she did. It’s a lofty goal, and one I will now strive for with verve and zest. I think it will make her proud.

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