Dear mummy,

I really enjoyed skyping with you and J-Anne on Tuesday. J-Anne in her horrendous aunty pajamas, and you with your graceful eyes and youthful smile. You’re so beautiful mummy.

It was probably the highlight of my week, letting both of you regale me with tales of old Shanghainese with monkey-like abilities and their hobby of cutting queues. With updates from home, tea, mooncakes, and dad. I wish I could hug you from here for allowing me glimpses into our life together, through a tiny skype window, once a week.

Sometimes it’s like I’m there, like I’m living both lives in parallel and I haven’t been away. Thank you so much for sharing life with me!

I laugh when I think of all three of you: dad, mum, and J-Anne, scrutinising my Facebook and reading my blog simultaneously on your cookie cutter iPhones and iPod Touch.

Today I cooked chicken adobo for a group of friends. I bought four whole chickens, and as I was marinating them, I smiled. It was you who taught me how to marinate a chicken and massage it well so the flavour would seep through.When I had to chop the chicken, I realised I had no idea how to do it though! I refused to learn when you wanted to teach me at home! I smiled and nearly laughed.

Sometimes I wish I knew how to tell you more things, that you wouldn’t have to get to know me through a blog – writings that are no more than little reflections of who I am. But how do I even begin talking when I’m so scared of the response on the other side?

I’m sure children the world over ask the same question: How do I talk to my parents?

Next year I graduate.

What if I wanted to make decisions about my life that you’re not too excited about? I wouldn’t know how to handle that in a relationship as fragile as a spider web. You always hurt for me and it’s just the hardest thing to bear.

I surprised myself the other day.

I was overcome by overwhelming waves of intense emotion when someone said to me the other day, you love your mum very much, don’t you.

Before I knew it, my quivering voice had turned into guttural sobs.

You were my world when I was young.Whenever you were sad or angry, it upset me so much. I wanted you to be happy.

It surprises me that these things come out of nowhere sometimes. They affect me when I’m feeling insecure, or unsure. I learn that you can never escape, or hide, or suppress forever. I’m learning that I was never supposed to take responsibility for your feelings. I’m learning that many of my responses were wrong, made my heart hard and rebellious because I just felt I always let you down. But you know what, mummy, I’m learning that Jesus was with us, in the confusion, pain, and the deep questions that never got answered, he was there.

And He heals, sets people free. : ) I think sometimes, His grace is displayed in its most outstanding form when we’re honest about our broken lives. It’s funny, and sweet. We have a beautiful story.

Sometimes you carry on with life so strong, maybe you don’t even have time to wonder if we love you. So this is to say, in case you didn’t know, that I love you.