Mother’s Day 2024

May 14, 2024 – A late weekly blog post… and it’s ok.

I just flew back to Prince George on Saturday, May 11, 2024 at 7pm. I was away for almost 3-weeks with trips to Kelowna, Vancouver, and Banff. All three destinations were back to back. Some trips were for work or I had work embedded during the non-work oriented trips. Although I was away, I continued to work. Now that I have returned, time is just flying by such that my weekly blog submission for this week is somewhat late. There are no negative consequences for a late submission. The weekly blogs are for my benefit and reflection. I like the time to pause and take a moment to reflect on the week and wonder what the learning I have endured during that week that is worthy of sharing and unpacking within my blog. I am currently maintaining two blogs, this one and one with OpenETC. Although both are work-oriented, I am not separate from my work, so much of my personal thoughts are threaded throughout both blog site so that I can take an intentional moment to write, think, and reflect. As I am attempting to catch up on my late blog, I am reminded of the good feelings of contributing to my blog, thus the intrinsic motivation to continue.

In today’s blog post, I want to write about Mother’s Day. My kid picked me up from the airport on Saturday and we went out for dinner soon after. I had the option of choosing the restaurant. I was leaning towards an Asian-oriented restaurant. When I was in Vancouver, I spent very intentional time going to places where I could get Cantonese food or Chinese food. If it was not Chinese food, then I would go to places that offered Thai food, Mexican food, or other food genres I cannot get in Prince George. Going to places, in particular Chinese food places like THE BOSS in Metrotown, reminds me of my mother, heritage, and childhood memories that are comforted by the tastes of certain food. The environment also plays a role as well as the people who inhabit these places. I loved going to T&T and Saint Germain’s Bakery in Metrotown to get egg tarts, BBQ pork buns, lo bok go, and rice rolls. More Chinese food memories and favourites of mine. I think I ate about 6 egg tarts when I was in Vancouver. I could not help myself. They were so delicious. The egg tarts were not my pastry go-to’s when I lived in the Lower Mainland, but now living in a place where egg tarts are not abundant, I had to have them. And thankfully, I enjoyed them too.

In the end, I chose to go to the Fortune House in Prince George for dinner with my kid. After a few days in Banff and having only North American food for each meal, I was pining for Chinese food once again. We had (as you can see in the first photo) Seafood chow mein Cantonese style along with chicken & cream corn soup and salt & pepper prawns. Each dish hit the spot and brought me back to the good memories I was trying to achieve when I was in Vancouver. These dishes also reminded me of the Chinese food I used to get with my family when we lived in Prince Rupert and we went to Galaxy Gardens Restaurant for family dinners and special occasions. Looking back, it almost seems like several lifetimes ago, but I do hold on to the good times we had together as a family in places like the Fortune House (or any other Chinese Restaurant in Burnaby and Vancouver). I have very fond memories of my mom too. Eating out was her way of expressing her love to us. And yes, I miss her very much.

My mom was the backbone of our family – the nucleus. She kept us together and, in her own way, took care of us that was personalized. I did not realize this until she passed away in 2018. Life for me and our family have not been the same since. At times, it feels very fragmented and often I feel disconnected from my dad. I am grateful for my siblings who both live in the Lower Mainland who look after my dad (in some ways) and stay connected with me. Again, it’s not the same without my mom, but I am still connected with my siblings and I’m grateful for that. We are so different from one another but we are able to see and honour each other in ways that is nourishing and entertaining. Returning back to Prince George the day before Mother’s Day was bittersweet. One the one hand, I am very thankful to come home and sleep in my own bed, be with my kid, and get back to a regular routine (like eating at home). On the other hand, I returned to my place that needed some TLC and a bit of spring cleaning. So, Mother’s Day was spent housecleaning. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my Sunday, but it was an opportunity to get organized.

Cleaning took most of the day and I was grateful to have time to myself to feel more grounded in place and recalibrate my way of being to be more situated and intentional for my work and play. I even moved some furniture in my room so that my desk faces the window. I was so inspired when I was in Banff in my hotel room where the desk faced the window of which perfectly framed a gorgeous mountain view. When the desk was faced towards nature, I was way more productive. Seemed counterintuitive when I should be outside and enjoying the landscape. Anyway, I wanted the same feelings in my home (and hopefully my office at work) to have my desk facing the outdoors to feel motivated to write in a free and comprehensive way, like I am doing right now. I am so tempted to move my laptop to the living room, but no… right here, at my desk, looking out at the trees and the sky makes me feel whole, enlightened, and free. It’s good to be back home and I am taking the time to get settled and enjoy this term with my writing and research. I need to maximize my time but also notice what I need to do to ensure my success and happiness while doing so.

I love where I am. This feeling is not focused necessarily on place, location, or position, but rather a mindset, way of being, and gratitude. I will always miss my mom. And, I love being a mom. Lately, I’ve been opening a door that looks into my heritage and past to regain an understanding of who I am and how I have perceived and navigated through this world. The image below is my #OneWord2024 and a hot bowl of homemade chicken congee. I made that soup on Mother’s Day in my mom’s slow cooker. It’s not exactly how she made it, but it is reminiscent of how she made something out of nothing. She had to learn now to cook in Canada and made a living doing so. It’s hard to believe that she was able to work so hard for our family. adapted to a new way of being in Canada, and made the most of her life (even though she did share with me during her last 20-days that she did not live out her golden years… she was 80). She was proud of what she accomplished in Canada, like being debt free, building a home, and supporting others in need. She was amazing!!! I hope that I can live up to her standards and stamina. I am super proud of her. Happy Mother’s Day.