For my Mother - to Whom I Owe Everything

For my Mother - to Whom I Owe Everything

​To provide context, I abruptly left my career in insurance after the death of my mother in August of '15 in order to pursue writing - a dream she always encouraged me to chase. Since then I have been fortunate enough to have my first novel published with the second on the way, and am now a freelance journalist. I often write about my mother to remind myself how and why my writing career is growing.



It’s been while since I’ve written to you in anything outside of my private journal. I know that if you were here, you would probably kill me for putting you in the public’s eye, but you deserve the credit. You deserve for people to know how important you were (and still are).

You never received anything close to the amount of praise you rightfully earned while you were with us. Those closest to you, namely our family, took you for granted so badly that it pains me to even consider. All those conversations we had late at night when I was experiencing both peaks and valleys meant absolutely everything to me. You probably didn’t realize it at the time, which unfortunately is so often the case with mothers who impact their children, but everything you told me still resonates within me every single day. All of the advice, all of the encouragement, and all of the critiques have been taken to heart – so much so that I left an entire career behind to pursue the dreams you always told me to chase.

There are so many imperfections residing in me and my personality; I’m fully aware of this. But there’s also a generous, caring and sensitive side that never would have manifested without your influence and guidance. I have no doubt that I will never cross paths with anyone in life who can equate to the amount of sheer good which you embody.

There have been, particularly over the past weeks, a number of things which I am extraordinarily grateful for. Things I never would have thought possible until deciding to take the leap of faith which you always pushed me towards. Until recently I lived a life of self-doubt, insecurity, and fear. Because of you, and only you, I’m able to shed these apprehensions and go after the life you dreamt for me. I will forever be eternally grateful for this, Mom.

Words capable of describing the magnitude of my feelings for you simply don’t exist within conventional language. You mean everything to me, and I will never, ever forget that.

I miss you, Mom. So, so much. If an “up there” really does exist in this reality we occupy, I know I will see you again.

I love you.

Your son,



​This post was originally published on my blog, where you can find everything from social  & political commentary, to pop culture, and even a fantastical fairy tale of a group of restaurant servers revolting against their evil hunchbacked bosses who reside in the Tower of Management:


Published by Matt Shao

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