Saturday, March 29, 2014

Bernice Yu (October 3, 1942 - March 3, 2014)

It's taken me a few weeks to gather up my thoughts.  The first week was spent trying to reconcile that Mom was gone so quickly, arrangements were made according to her wishes....and there was that initial guilt with all the "shoulda, woulda, and couldas".

Things spiraled downhill pretty fast after that with my sister, Rae, but I'm done with all the negative things that have happened - I'm ready to move on with the positives.

The strangest paradox to consider is that a child who is raised "right" or "well" gets to a point where they don't "need" their mom anymore.  Even though I have my own family, career, and am self-sufficient (I was clearly raised "well", Mom), I still wish that Mom had lived closer and that she hadn't been consumed with taking care of my sister for the last 12 years - but that wasn't anybody's fault in particular.

Mom paid - all by herself - for me to attend medical school.  I graduated with no debt.  Even though she spent the last dozen years taking care of my little sister, she was still dedicated to taking care of all her grandchildrens' educational needs too.  With Mom's help, my kids will also be able to attend college pretty much anywhere they want and graduate debt-free.

Mom loved to shop and was fanatical about buying presents way early (birthdays and Christmas) and any time we would visit, we would always be taking home presents for the next year.  She labeled each one specifying who it was for and which special occasion it was meant to be opened on.  It wasn't unusual for us to find the odd present in the closet labeled for a birthday that was months ago or opening a few presents in 2013 that were actually labeled "2012".

Mom was a very shrewd business woman even though she never gave herself credit for that, typically citing a language barrier.  She was very knowledgeable about properties, rentals, and tax law and that's what made it possible for her to fund all of her education plans for her kids and her grand kids.  She just wasn't happy unless she was making someone else happy - that's the essence of my Mom and what I'll always remember and learn from.

I wish that we had more time together but Mom was crushed when Dee died.  She had nobody left to take care of because she had raised her remaining 2 daughters so well.  I've been thinking about that a lot - particularly in the last week.  I refused to say goodbye when we scattered her ashes in the ocean this week.  She knows how much I loved and appreciated her - there aren't any words that can adequately express that.  I'm in the habit of putting my thoughts down so I can get them organized and remember them later so I'm putting this on my blog.  It's never a goodbye for me - it'll always just be a "see you later" to both my Mom and my sister, Dee.

Bernice L Yu (1942-2014)
Dee H Cataline (1972 - 2013)