When my mom planned a trip to Victoria Island from Seattle, I had no idea she meant an all-girls cross-country road trip with three generations of women. I also had no idea how many hours it’ll take. My mother, sister, and I, along with my two daughters took a road trip to a beautiful island of British Colombia.
Lunch at The Empress Hotel
We spent two days traveling by car, then a ferry, then walking a ton- exploring new places, learning to convert Canadian dollars to US dollars and realizing that Canadians do, have a distinguishable accent. Eh?
The entire time I found myself telling my mom, “Do you realize not too many women your age can take a road trip like this without a man?” She didn’t seem to think much of it, until after I kept bringing it up– because even for younger modern women like myself it was hard and required a lot of courage and fearlessness.
For two days we drove hundreds of miles through dark freeways, took care of two little girls who are always hungry or needing to use the restroom, rode a giant ferry through turbulent waters, made our own meals, used foreign currency, found our ways around a strange city without internet and walked alongside a sea of strange faces across strange streets with strange signs.
My beautiful mother
All it all, it was an awesome time, one that made me realize where I get my superwoman genes from. My almost 60-year old mother has no fear because God is always by her side, and this woman, despite having cataract surgery just a few years ago, can still drive hundreds of miles in the dark after many hours of walking, waiting, traveling and exploring.
And she does this for no other reason but to share with her daughter and granddaughters that there is so much beauty to be seen in the world and to teach us to live life to the fullest, no matter how hectic life may seem. She teaches me to enjoy today, live today, share today, because we never know what tomorrow may bring. Most notably, she teaches me what it means to be fearless, bold and independent.
We can be nurturing AND be fearless. Be kind AND do what makes us happy. Sacrifice AND live our dreams. We do not have to choose one or the other.
When we arrived home, my father had been up waiting to carry out my sleeping daughters from the car, with delicious kimchi stew waiting for us on the stove. I wonder if my dad knows he’s a feminist, that only a strong and empathetic man like him could’ve raised a daughter like myself.
I realize how blessed I am to have such a strong yet humble mother, a strong yet loving father, and two growing daughters who are being influenced by all of this, not yet knowing its larger implication that’ll one day determine what kind of partners they’ll choose, what kind of choices they’ll make as women.
We are women who are strong, brave, fearless and adventurous. We are women who are nurturing, loving, empathetic and gracious. We are women who nurture and raise the next generation. The older I get, not a day passes by without feeling grateful that God gave me this beautiful journey of womanhood.
I’m returning to California tomorrow to a messy house that needs packing and another house that needs a lot of work. What awaits me is not pretty, but a part of adulthood that my parents prepared me for. I can’t take my parents home with me but I can take home all the love and life lessons that they continue to teach me, now standing tall next to my daughters as their primary caretaker, role model, protector and best friend.
It took me this many years to finally learn the strength and courage that lies in my mother who spent her life as a full-time mother of three.
I wonder how many women-mother warriors are out there, still unrecognized and unappreciated not only by society but by her own husband and children.
They’re out there- there are too many to count. I hope you find the time today to reflect and thank that fearless and brave woman-mother in your life.
Meanwhile here are some photos from my iphone. More details and pictures to come.
Elle and her new friend