Following the first anniversary of my mother’s passing last November, I want to share this letter, which I shared with everyone at that time.
A few of you knew but most of you do not know that my mother died a little over a week ago. I was not able to go to Thailand because of my health.
Thank you for all your condolences. This is my first attempt to acknowledge it, please forgive me.
I spent most of my time until yesterday at the Thai Temple in Mt. Vernon. It is our custom to engage our religion into our lives and make offerings and sacrifice for the loved one.
Nothing dramatic, we make an offering to the temple, the monk and the poor or someone in need. Every morning I made wonderful dishes and brought them to the temple, I brought flowers and necessities including money and the monks chanted and taught us about the uncertainty of life, and talked about my mother and my family in general. The monks have to start their meal before 11 AM and to most of them, that's the only meal they have each day. There were a lot of people and we brought enough for everybody. We end up with a lot of elaborated meals. I then stayed around, had a wonderful lunch and helped with what needed to be done at the temple. Mostly mundane work, such as stuffing the envelopes for their thousands of members. It is a beautiful tradition, I was comforted by the surrounding, the monks comforting words and warmth from all my friends.
I am content with not being at the funeral, I called Thailand and they called me. I was told that because mother disliked modern medicine, she had never been to the hospital for sickness and she made her own medicine. They had her in a beautiful refrigerated coffin. After she was cremated, we donated a bed to the hospital and gave them all her things such as wheelchair and bed. We donated money to the temple, to the clinic, and added to her scholarship fund.
Mother was born well, lived well and died well. Almost all the relatives came to the funeral. It was a big funeral even though she was humble, and was far away from her hometown. She wanted to die a few years ago because she said her body had enough, but we were not able to let her go. We were given an opportunity to give back a little to her.
She devoted her life to her children. Father died from an accident when we were young, and she raised us all by herself. Kay, my sister retired from her nursing in Houston and went home to give her the best care. All of her five children were with her for a while when I was able to make a trip, and we had a wonderful time together. She told me not to come to the funeral because that was better.
I am blessed to have a selfless family; I am blessed to have all of you as my friends; and I am truly blessed to have had my parents who raised us well.
With all my love,