“My mum always said to find a bit of beauty in the world. She said to seek it out, to cherish it, to preserve it in its entirety.
To me, my mum was that bit of beauty.
She was the kind of person that everyone wanted to make happy. People were constantly sending her gifts, flowers, cards… everyone adored, and still adores, her, myself included. She was such a big part of my life that it’s hard to believe that she’s gone.
I never made a decision, big or small, without having her behind me, and she always was. Everything I did, I had her full support. She was compassionate but stern, a friend and a parent, the eternal voice of reason, and the best mum you could ask for. When I said I wanted to take up kickboxing, I was signed up for classes the next day. When I decided to take up acting, she helped me practice an audition. And, in the fourth grade, when I was convinced that it was my destiny to go to Yale (then Stanford, then Harvard, then Princeton), she was convinced too. Now, she was nothing if not a realist, but more so, she was a believer. She believed in me, but she also believed in herself. And personally, I think the power of such a belief is what made her the anomaly in making it as far as she did.
On my eleventh birthday, she wrote:
I hope I will have many more years to watch you grow
and see what you will do in the years ahead.
You make me proud,
you make me smile,
you make me laugh,
you make me cry.
Now, forever and always,
I believe in you.
May you someday know the joy that I have known having you as my daughter and the special bond we will always share.
I’m not exactly sure why she said I made her cry, but I hope it was just poetic license. The point is, not many people my age get to appreciate the bond that they have with their mothers. We were there for each other. I can only imagine how hard it is to be a mother without everything she had to go through, and every day I appreciate her altruism, valiance, and loyalty for my family and me. She knew how much I loved her, and, more importantly, I knew how much she loved me: something that not many people can acknowledge and appreciate daily in their own parents.
More than once, she called herself a quitter, but I can tell you firsthand that she was the one person who never gave up.”