by: Sam J. Hyun
Boston, MA

Dear 엄마,

One day out of the year, we have this beautiful opportunity to express our gratitude and show our love as our way to give back to those who give us more than we can ever repay- our moms. This letter is a small gesture to say that I love you, even if you think it’s too much sometimes. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned just how much more you had loved me than I realized. Aside from moving to the other side of the world in hopes of a better life for your not yet conceived children, or carrying me inside your body for nine months. Before I was even born, you loved me unconditionally.

Mom, you are my best friend and you always have been. Even when I thought you never came to my games. Even when you were mad at me and drove me insane by muttering under your breath. Especially once you became a single mom and put the entire family on your back. Even before Dad left, you were always there, even if we didn’t know it. Because as I later found out, you WERE at my games, just hiding behind the fence because you were nervous. Because you only muttered under your breath because you were so stressed out and had nobody to vent to. Because Dad left, and abandoned you to raise a family alone in a foreign country. But I know you wouldn’t have changed a thing, because you had us.

Mom, I’ll never forget when you told us years later how you truly felt. How you cried alone for hours in the car because you couldn’t afford all the groceries. How you always managed to provide above and beyond for us. How you never said anything when we would cry and yell that we didn’t feel supported. Because as it turned out, you went to every teacher, every coach, every friend’s parents, and begged them to look out for us, to show us love as they would their own. Because as it turned out, every meal was always delicious because you made it with unconditional love.

Mom, as the entire world is reeling from the global pandemic, you’ve shown so much strength and love. As an essential worker, you continue to provide services at your laundromat to make sure you are doing your part to help the community. You haven’t stopped serving the Boston Rescue Mission like you have for the past 15 years, making over a hundred and fifty meals for the homeless community on a monthly basis. I am so proud when I get stopped on the street and asked if I am your son. I beam with pride as the strangers tell me how you’ve impacted them. Mom, you aren’t just my best friend, you’re my hero.

While life hasn’t always been easy, and at times, downright suffocating- at all times, you are a constant reminder of who I aspire to be. Treating people with dignity, respect, and love. Demonstrating how powerful empathy and compassion is. You have taught me how to be a man, how to raise a family, and how to love. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown more comfortable with saying this. I am unapologetically, a Momma’s Boy. So on this Mother’s Day, thank you, you’re my best friend, and I love you more than a letter can ever express.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Love, your son,
– Sam

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