The 5 Most Important Lessons My Mother Ever Taught Me

mum sydney harbour bridge

Dear Mum,

Even though it’s been over 13 years since you left us, you taught me some important life lessons that I have never forgotten.

These are five of the most important lessons you taught me:

1. Cherish your family and friends

You never know when they might be gone. You were always so supportive, and I know I would not have gotten through tough times without you. Now, I try to be there for my loved ones, in the same way, you were there for me. (I know I need to get better at this, and I’ve been working on it over the past few years)

2. Life is precious and should be lived to the fullest.

Before you got sick, you always found joy in the little moments – whether that was cooking with your friends and family, laughing, gardening, or going fishing on weekends with Dad. Your strength is something I will always admire.

3. It’s okay to make mistakes – we all do it.

I recall several idiotic decisions I made throughout my high school and university years. You were furious with me at times, and on one occasion, when I arrived home in the back of a police car, you had smoke coming out of your nose and ears.

The thing is, you always forgave me.

You taught me that what matters is how we learn from our mistakes and become better people as a result. You were always so forgiving, even when I made the same mistake over and over again. Because of you, I am able to forgive myself and others.

4. The importance of being generous

You taught me the importance of generosity. You were always giving to others, whether it was your time, money, or love.

You taught me that the more you give, the more you get back in return. This was demonstrated by the number of relatives and friends who came to pay tribute to you at your funeral and support our family during such a difficult period.

I’ve seen the effects of your generosity first-hand. When family members in Sydney and Laos speak of you, they’re filled with joy.

5. Never forget where you came from.

You never forgot where you came from. For decades you made it a priority to regularly send a portion of your paycheck back to your siblings and family in Laos to support them.

I wish that you could have joined Auntie, Cindy, and me when we made the trip out to your village in 2018. We met your surviving family members and I finally got to see where you grew up, and where my life began.

It was truly an amazing experience, one that I would have loved to share with you.

Remembering where we came from is important because it helps us to appreciate all that we have now.

Mum, even though you’re no longer with us, I know that you are always with me.

Your generosity, kindness, and strength are some of the qualities that I carry with me every day. (Interestingly enough I observe these characteristics in my beautiful wife Cindy too – I know you would have loved her as much as I do).

Thank you for everything, Mum. I love you and miss you always.

Happy Mother’s Day.


Your son.


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