When my mom moved into a nursing home here in Toronto, I was finally given an opportunity to get closer to her, something that I took for granted when I left home as an adult, pursued a career, kept busy doing city things. It was not an ideal circumstance, this reunion -- her being frail, unable to properly walk or speak, and then the sudden physical breakdown of her entire body over the last year. I saw her a lot -- in the last couple months, almost daily. And as hard as it may have seemed on the outside, as many times as I heard "you're so brave," all I could think of was if I didn't do this, it would feel so wrong. This shouldn't be an act of bravery, to visit someone you care about: It should be so mandatory that it shouldn't need to be said. Early this morning, I got an urgent call to come to her bedside. As I held my mother's hand and saw her gasp her last breath, I thought back over the whole journey; if there was anyone brave in the matter, it was definitely her.
Ma: This has been a five-year-long adventure full of frustration and ongoing tests of patience. But you were feisty, strong, and admiringly independent, especially given the situation. Thank you for being the brave one through all of this, and I hope I can carry your strength with me, especially in the coming days, head held up high. Rest in peace. I'm going to miss you.