2 min read

This is How She Says "I Love You" Part II

The other day a friend of mine shared this link with me on facebook. http://storycorps.org/listen/stories/theresa-nguyen-and-her-daughter-stephanie/?sms_ss=facebook
It succinctly describes my relationship with my own mother. Being half Filipino I didn't always understand my mom's thoughts and actions. Although I was born in the Philippines, I've been in the United States since I was two years old. I grew up in the American culture.  
My mom was not always a warm fuzzy and that was hard for me when I was growing up. As I've gotten older I've learned to recognize my mom's way of saying "I love you" even though she didn't always say it.  
For example while we were in Maine on vacation we came back to find our house had been cleaned and my son's room reorganized so that it could fit another bed in it. I had told my parents before we left for Maine that we were expecting Baby #3 (yes, I'm pregnant. I'm almost 15 weeks along!).  My mom knowing that we would put B & B together in the same room, went ahead and reorganized the room so that Buggy could join her brother and share a room for a few years.  
Just last weekend she wanted to go Back to School shopping for Boogie.  We hit several stores and bought BTS for Boogie and a pair of Ballet slippers for Buggy's upcoming dance lessons. She even bought me a few much needed maternity tops and dresses.  She also wanted to buy a new changing mattress for the baby.  She didn't have to buy these things for us. I can certainly afford to outfit my self and our kids, but my mom wanted to do something for us. While it was hard for me to swallow my pride and step aside, I also knew it was important for my mom to do this and feel like she can still provide for us.  For that I'm very grateful. I'm grateful for the way she takes cares of us and for how much loves her grandchildren.

I had a great time hanging out with her and just spending time with her. I think she had fun, too.  But when I brought it up the next day and thanked her she just said, "Oh, okay." It sounds cold, but I'm coming to the realization that it's just cultural. I wish she had said she had fun too, or that it was nice getting together. But all she said was, "Oh, okay."  That's just the way it is. Talking to several of my Asian friends, they say that their moms are the same way.  They show their love by doing things.
The last part of the above interview between mother and daughter brought tears to my eyes. The mom is saying how the Asian culture is about showing love through actions and not words.  She also talks about how she is proud of her daughter even though she never tells her.  She even mentions that her husband "gets on her case" when she doesn't do it and she says, "but she knows that I'm proud of her."  Her daughter's response is that she always thought she was a disappointment.  The mom reassures her that she has always been proud of her.  Wow. It was if she was talking about my relationship with my mom.  
It's taken me 32 years, but I'm finally understanding that love is spoken and shared in many different ways.  My mom's big "I love you's" have always been through actions. Thanks, Mom. I love you, too!

See my prior post on this subject here.