They say that being a mother changes you completely. You never know that you have that much love to give until you have children. It is a love that expects nothing in return. It is an unconditional love that never wears out. It is a timeless love that knows no boundaries. It is a love that can only come from a mother.

And how do we return that love? We complain that she nags too much. We talk back to her. We disrespect her. We disappoint her. We ask her to leave us alone when we’re cranky. We’d rather hang out with friends than spend the day with her. We don’t say thank you and we definitely don’t tell her that we love her enough.

I know a lot of families, mine included, who are not very affectionate. Maybe it’s the Asian custom in all of us. Being physically intimate or expressing words of endearment are more awkward than comforting. In spite of that, I truly believe that people show love in their own and littlest way. Our mothers may not give us mountains, but the things they do, yes even the nagging, are stones that build her mountain of love. In light of Mother’s Day, here’s an homage to all mothers out there, especially my own. This piece acknowledges everything mothers do out of love even though we may not notice it or appreciate it enough. Happy Mother’s Day!

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Thank you for giving me the last piece of cake even though you secretly wanted it.

Thank you for ferrying me around to school, tuitions, weekend activities, practices and pretty much everywhere else even though you’d much rather sleep in on a Saturday.

Thank you for giving up your job to care for me even though you took years to build your career.

Thank you for buying me the latest iPhone even though you wanted it for yourself.

Thank you for giving me the freedom to go out with my friends late at night even though you know you will be worried.

Thank you for buying me a car even though it means that I will spend less time at home.

Thank you for letting me pursue my passion even though you had other preferences in mind.

Thank you for accepting my choices even though you may not understand it.

Thank you for your neverending forgiveness even though you had your heart broken many times.

Thank you for all those sleepless nights when I was sick even though you needed the sleep more than anyone else.

Thank you for cleaning up the messes – the heartaches, tears, disappointment and failure – even though you needed someone to be there for yours, too.

Thank you for giving me life and devoting your life to me.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.