May 11, 2014

mothers.

when i was young i used to love looking at old pictures of my mama, and each time she explained to me the story behind every picture. this was taken while she was on an overnight trip during her college years. there was another picture of her and her classmates playing volleyball and she said "my team could've won the game but i accidentally touched a volleyball that was 'out' and we lost the match." among others, i think i inherited her amazing volleyball playing genes, too. 

my mama had a pair of sunglasses from ralph lauren. they were round and her most favorite pair {i believe she still has them to this day}. she wore them on many outings, but my 8-year old self then teased her on how she looked in them. i'm into that round sunglasses/glasses frame now and often times think about my mama and her favorite pair.. and i regret that i never told her how pretty she looked in them. 

i wrote about  my mama and her battle with mental illness a while back and each mother's day i take just a few moments to remember her from when i was a child. some memories are fuzzy and hazy but there are definitely ones that are clear as day.

while yangkyu was working late into the night last night, i went through our box of old photos to look for a picture of his mother. when she passed, we all took some of the photos she had {she had boxes and boxes of them}, and i realized that the ones we had of her always were taken with her kids {pictured: yangkyu is the littlest, in her arms}. she also wrote little notes on the backs of the photos - the date and place where they were taken. while yangkyu took small breaks to view the photos with me, i told him how nice it was for his mama to do this so that folks looking at the photos years later would know when and where they were taken. i also told him that she just taught me a new trick and will be doing this to photos i develop and keep in albums. 

from time to time yangkyu will stop and tell me that he misses his mom or that he dreamt about her. sometimes i don't know what to say to him but i ask him a lot of questions about the memories he has of her. i love how stories can keep the memories of a particular moment alive. forever.

today we're think about these two women who shaped us into the people we are today. sometimes we forget about the sleepless nights, endless diaper changing and tantrums they had to quell while nurturing us to have empathy, compassion and know right from wrong. love you mama chung and mama yoo. happy mother's day. 

47 comments

  1. Mothers are one that would give their love unconditionally. Today, we remember their past and all the things that they've to deal with when we were younger and we should love them back unconditionally too =)

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  2. Your mum is such an incredible artist (just read the
    other post about your mum)! She does look like you
    facial wise :P and it's great to read that you had a
    great mother and daughter relationship ^__^ xx

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  3. What a beautifully written and sweet post. Thank you for sharing a peice of your heart <3

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  4. Such a beautiful post...just so touching in so many ways. I love those pictures of both of your moms! A wonderful week to you friend! Nicole xoxo

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    1. xx thank you so much~~~ hope you had a lovely mother's day and have a wonderful week ahead too!

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  5. Happy mother's day to two beautiful women. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree; you look just like your mother :)

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    1. :) when i was young i looked so much like my dad but as i grew older my aunts would look at me and say "you look like little mija" (mija is my mama's name). i like hearing that :)

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  6. Happy mum's day to all the moms out there. And you really do look just like your mother

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    1. thank you! i love hearing that :)

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  7. I agree with Kat - you look sooo much like your beautiful mum!
    Thanks for this moving, honest post Jane.
    Thinking of you and Yangkyu this Mother's Day - I can only imagine how bittersweet it must be...
    Love,
    Ronnie xo

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    1. thank you so much, ronnie. when i was little everyone said i looked like my dad, but years later when i grew up and saw my aunts for the first time in a looong time they couldn't get over how much i looked like their younger sister. they called me "little mija" (mija is my mom's name) :)

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  8. p.s. I think asking Yangkyu for his memories of his mum is just the most beautiful thing you could do to help him keep the memory of her alive.

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    1. xx thank you~ i do love hearing his stories. i hope to make photobooks perhaps .. you've inspired me so much and put so much possibility into my head. thank you for that!

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  9. What a beautiful post! I can see so much of your mother in you. There is something so special about old printed photos... I need to print out more of ours!

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    1. thank you! yes. i haven't developed much photos lately but i think i should!

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  10. Its funny-- Mother's Day tends to be about flowers and hugs and kisses and well dressed children, which in reality has very little to do with the day-to-day of being a mother… I am glad you are able to remember your mothers through the photos and the stories they tell, mothers deserved to be honored and not forgotten….

    ~Alexis Grace of North On Harper

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    1. so beautifully written alexis! and so so true!! xx

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  11. So wonderful...loved this post...felt myself well up a bit that yangkyu's mother is no longer with him in the flesh, but she is always with him in his heart and memories and those can never be taken away. Such sweet faces in these photos xx

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    1. it was a tough and sad loss... but we love that we have pictures and his memories with us. thank you so much for your sweet comment xx

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  12. oh gosh, this got me a little teary. It's so invaluable to write on the back of photos, at the time you think you'd never forget that memory or the date but even to think when they are no longer in your possession and the memories are no longer there to remember, how important a few scribed words could be. So sorry to hear about your Mum, mental illness can be such a horrific experience for the person and those around :(

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    1. yes! i want to be able to write little notes like that. i think it would be so great to look back on. and the mental illness my mom has was devastating but over the years we've learned to cope and deal. i just only miss her so much..

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  13. What a heartfelt post, Jane. I loved reading about both you and Yangkyu's mum and looking at their photos. Sorry that his mum has passed but like you said, it is the stories of them that keeps them alive

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  14. You never forget to you. I used to tease my mum too as I was embarrassed with her glasses. I shouldn't have.

    Buckets & Spades

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    1. aww but i'm sure she knew you loved her no matter what xx

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  15. When I looked at the first pic I knew right away she's your mom. You are almost the exact copy of your mama when she's younger. Beautiful post.

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    1. aww thank you! i was always told i looked like my dad when i was little but when i grew up my aunts said i looked like a carbon copy of my mom! i love hearing that still :)

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  16. Beautifully written! Made me a bit teary eyed.

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  17. You look just like your mother!!! It's definitely wonderful to have photos to remember those who've past from this life. Even though I only have one photo of my dad and my son, and my dad isn't even looking at the camera, I'm so very glad to have it. Happy Mother's Day to both of them. Indeed, they were and are who shaped both of you.

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    1. thank you lisa! and yes. photos are such great great reminders! xx

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  18. this was beautiful jane! both of your mothers were gorgeous!!! i like the idea that your husband's mother wrote notes on the back of her pictures. a picture always tells a story. she definitely wanted people to the story behind each one. brilliant. that really says a lot.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. it's definitely such a great thing to do.. to write notes. xx

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  19. this is such a special post. I lost my mother when I was young and each Mother's Day of course makes me think of her. While she had her issues (ironically, she had mental issues as well) she did the best she could as a mother. I relate to your words about the memories becoming fuzzy. Not too long ago, so many memories felt so easy to recall but, as time passes, they get less clear and it feels like I'm trying to figure out which memory belongs to which. Makes me sad. But, it's good not to dwell because it can be a dangerous rabbit hole. Thanks for sharing such a private conversation.
    xo,
    nancy

    http://www.adoretoadorn.com

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    1. thank you too nancy for sharing something so personal. so sorry for the loss of your mother and her bout with mental issues. it's such a difficult thing to go through and sometimes the stigma is hard to take as well. sending you hugs lady!

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  20. Your mother is beautiful! I love looking at old photographs of my family and hearing the stories! Happy Mother's Day!!
    xo TJ

    http://www.hislittlelady.com

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  21. Absolutely beautiful writing. I teared up!

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  22. Jane, you are a beautiful soul; love your writings so much. I like to find little notes on the back of old pictures so I agree that It was very nice of mama yoo to be so thoughtful. I absolutely adore your mom's picture, you take a lot after her!

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