Day 3 – Your Parents


Dear Ma and Daddy,

What can I say? I think all the thank you’s in the world is not enough for everything you have done for me. I know how underappreciated you two are, and I can only wish that you two know how much we three love you. It took me a long time to write this letter because I was stuck on what I was going to write. I was afraid that it wouldn’t be enough to encompass the love and gratitude I feel. I know that I’m not the most showy or talkative person (that role falls to Iching), and I just want to say thanks that you’ve never held these against me.

My siblings and I are never short of our needs, and sometimes, I feel like we get too much of our wants from you. I know and have seen how you two have worked very hard in order to put us through good schools. Sometimes, I feel guilty going to the pricier law school because I know that it would have been an added and could-have-been-avoided burden.

But you’ve never stopped me from shaping my life the way I see it. When we were filling out college application forms, I was ready for World War III–you defending medicine, pharmacy, or some other science-based course, and me standing my ground on journalism. Instead, you let me pick the courses I wanted for every school. And after four years, when I decided that a career in journalism wasn’t for me, you never looked at me with disappointment and said, “I told you so”.

During my last semester of college, I was not myself. I skipped classes, totally didn’t study, and would pass mediocre work. I figured, it was my last semester, I should enjoy myself–the important thing was to graduate. My grades slipped far below what I normally managed, and it was okay for me. The laude didn’t mean anything to me at that time. But then, I realized how sorely disappointed you would be, not because it would reflect on you but because you knew that I was capable of doing it and I didn’t. I got that cum laude not for me, but for you–because I knew that my triumph would make you happy.

Ma, when I was young, I remember long nights spent studying. You guided me through every subject and didn’t stop until I understood everything. This stopped in fourth grade, when you allowed me to study by myself, and with it came the end of my study habits. I often look back at those days with a bit of resentment: while all my other friends were out playing, I had to study. However, I realized that this taught me one important lesson: never give up with the things I couldn’t understand, because I will always get the answers if I keep on trying.

Daddy, as a child, I was very scared of you. I always saw you as the cold disciplinarian, partly because you always were the one to spank me. It was much later when I realized that you were actually the more soft-hearted one. One night, I was pretending to be asleep in my room when you came in, sat beside me on my bed for a long while, and pushed the hair off my face. I couldn’t see your face then, but to this day, I have not forgotten that sensation.

To both of you, I rarely say this–and I don’t think I’ve ever really said it out loud before–I love you. I really do. And I realize that I should be saying this to you guys in real life instead of through this letter, but let me do this for you here, where I can express myself best.