You would have turned sixty-six today, and I would have gotten to spend the whole day with you, watching you play with your two grandchildren and enjoying a nice home-cooked meal.
Sometimes I imagine what kinds of conversations we would be having now if you were here with us. Now that I am a mother myself, what advice would you have for me? Would you talk about how similar little June is to how you remembered me as a little girl? I'm sure you would have had some funny stories to tell. It has been eleven years since you've been gone, but sometimes it doesn't feel like it-- some days the pain of losing you feels as raw as it did that fateful day. But I see you in the everyday, and I could almost hear your soft-spoken, composed voice. Sometimes I glance at June and I see a bit of resemblance to the grandmother she has never met. And other times I'll be designing something and I'll think, "Cool, I think mom would like this, she would approve."
And it gives me great encouragement to push forward. As I write this, I am a bit of a mess: exhausted from the week of seemingly endless responsibilities, feeling a bit lost...I long for your wisdom and your endless patience as you listened to all the things that weighed heavily on my heart.
I used to tell people that the way I dealt with your permanent absence is I would pretend that you were out of the country again, visiting Grandma back in Taiwan. And the time zone made it difficult to connect. We would go a couple of weeks without talking on the phone if things were busy, but we would always connect eventually. You liked to leave me messages on my phone, reminding me of food that you had prepared for me that was still in the freezer, or you would go shopping and think of me, and would call to ask if I needed something. I miss your asking me about my work and if I wanted to talk through some of the designs I was stuck on. You always made yourself available to me, even if we were tens of thousands of miles apart. Now we are on separate sides - me on the earth-side and you, heaven-side with Jesus. I take great comfort in that fact.
Well, mom - this post is dedicated to you. I wish we could celebrate with you in person on your special day, but someday I know we will meet again. I hope you see June, and me, our family, and what we have started in EleStory, and I hope you are smiling ear to ear with pride. And I hope you are proud of this lace dress I designed in your memory. You wore yours with so much grace, and the image of you wearing it will forever be etched in my heart. Happy birthday, mama!
with love, Yi-Inn (what you would always call me -- forever your little girl)
I also wanted to share a little video clip here in honor of my mother. I met Natalia @teslanatv when she and my friend Sofia @beautybysofiabee came over to do a quick, on the go makeup tutorial with me on IG live. I happened to have the Enchanted Lace dress hanging out on the dress form, so Natalia did an impromptu video of me talking about it, on the spot. I had no idea she would make it into an edited video, but I am so glad she did -- thank you, sweet friend -- I couldn't think of a better story than this to share in honor of my mom on her birthday.