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Each year is marked by how many years it has been since her passing and how much I can retain of her. This photo is from her paperwork coming into America. As she gained freedoms in America that she didn’t have in Korea in the 60s, she became a traveler, a worker, and most importantly, an aerobiciser! I watched her study English, garden, crochet, cook, sew, pass her cosmetology classes, become a welder, and earn her high school diploma (a list of course). Despite being a vibrant force, she lost her battle with breast cancer at a young age. On her death bed she whispered this to me: be happy lisa. I often think of this directive, a soft permissive nudge, when I feel down.

I know now that I am the continuation of the dream my mom had as a young girl, and I try to remember THAT is what I carry with me, even if I lose memories of her


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