Aloha is....a mother's strength and determination.
Not one for wearing makeup or doing her hair, not one for celebrating or being the center of attention, and not one for liking her picture taken, my mother quietly celebrated her 75th birthday this past weekend.
One for giving you her last dollar and cooking you a hot meal, one for making sure you had clean, dry clothes, and one for sharing her wisdom, my mother has proven that mountains can be moved and rivers can be crossed.
With one big leap of faith, one child walking, one child on the way, one suitcase, and a one-way ticket to America, she changed her life and the trajectory of her children's lives forever. All guts, no glory, she taught herself how to speak, read, and write in English. She taught herself how to drive. She learned how to cook American dishes better than most people I knew without a single recipe in hand. She worked long shifts at a factory, maintained a clean household, cooked dinner, crocheted our Christmas stockings and afforded presents under the tree, and always made sure we were prepared for school.
She showed us what you can accomplish with so little in the bank so long as you kept your head up, your stomach full, your hands busy, and your heart open. Take care of yourself and the people around you, and you will always be rich.
Happy birthday, Mom.