World Diabetes Day and My Amazing Mother #BeRemarkable
Did you know that World Diabetes day is coming up very soon, it’s on November 14th, 2015. I want to talk more about that and share a few things with you but as this day approaches it makes me think of my mother. Sadly my mom is no longer with us, she’s been gone for quite a few years but when I do think of her I think of the amazing and remarkable woman that she was. She was tough, fair and while not overt with her emotions she loved her family with ferocity, especially her three grand daughters, one of whom is my own daughter who is now 14.
My mother who was Vietnamese lived through the Vietnam War, in fact she was only 23 or so when the war was ending and by then she had met my father a Canadian and had me. We left Vietnam when I was only two years old, my mom left her very large family and all the friends she had ever known to go to a country where she barely knew the language and didn’t know anyone. It wasn’t until I was older and worked at a university with international students where I fully realized the challenges my mother faced as an immigrant to Canada.
My mother and I when I was only two years old
She lost siblings in the war and then left the rest of her family behind to come to Canada with my dad and I. I of course just saw her as my mom, she was the one of all of her friends who spoke English the best, she was their translator, the one who helped others to settle into Canada after overcoming the same challenges herself but without help from a friendly face (besides my dad of course). As I began to help international students settle into their routines, placing them in homestay, seeing how they struggled with English it gave me a new appreciation of what my mother and others who come to Canada go through. I think it’s a bravery that not everyone is successful at it. I myself have never had to go to another country to live where I don’t know the language and had no friends or family to help me out.
My mother and I when I was apparently old enough to drink lol
Not only did my mom teacher herself to speak and write English (she knew only a little bit but spoke Vietnamese and French), she helped my dad run his business, helped a few of her friends start restaurants, raised a family and helped many many Vietnamese immigrants settle into the Vancouver area. To me that is amazing.
My mom and my daughter when she was not even one year’s old
Now why do I think of her when I hear about World Diabetes Day? Well she also had diabetes and near the end she had to take insulin shots, she took this all in stride and it never stopped her from doing what she wanted to do. My mother is the example I want to be to my own daughter and I will I miss her every day she still inspires me.
Check out Pan Am hurdler Gregory Macneil who also has diabetes and how he promotes the positive message that Canadians with diabetes are strong and can achieve greatness. You can see his video HERE. Help everyone believe that they can #BeRemarkable especially on World Diabetes Day! Click on the link where it says get the word out and tweet or share on Facebook!
Who do you have in your life that is amazing to you?