My Mother’s Birthday Wish


“Happy Birthday to You, happy birthday to you………”, last night, we’d hosted a birthday party for my mother for her eightieth, after we’d sung the three versions of “Happy Birthday to You”, everybody started ranting for mom to make a wish, she’d put her hands together, thought for quite a long time, then, said lightly, “I hope…………”

not my photo

Seeing how focused my mother was, in praying, it’d taken me back, to when she was sixty, she’d finally gave in to our requests, didn’t like making a big deal out of birthdays, because sixty is a very important age according to traditions, we’d found a restaurant in the countryside, and had six tables to celebrate her birthday.  As “Happy Birthday” was sung, as she was about, to cut into that six-layered cake, the six of us siblings, asked her to make her wish, she’d opened her eyes wide, looking at everybody, slowly, stated, “I wish, everybody will be careful!”, that, had deeply, etched, into my memories, and that was also, the very first time I’d heard her stated her birthday wish.

Starting that year, we’d started giving her birthday celebrations, and she’d accepted our love to her gladly, but, all her wishes, are not about the results, but about the causes.  My mother was a firm believer of karma—what goes around, comes around; and because of this, we’d heard, “I hope my children can work hard in what they do, and get everything they wanted!”  “I want all my grandkids to study hard in school.”  So, on her sixtieth, she’d wished us to “be careful”, and no wished us “safe”, it’s a wonder, she’d never made the wishes for us all, to become rich too.

not my photo

In these past twenty years, my mother remembered the wishes she’d made every year to heart, especially eight years ago, when she was seventy-two, there were, three children graduating from college, about to head off abroad for graduate studies, my mother stated aloud, “I hope my three grandchildren can have good affinities where they’re going, and make tons of friends!”, and, as they’d finished their studies, they all, took many foreign friends home to visit too, making my mother so happy!

“I hope………everybody in the family do more good deeds, and, know to be grateful!”  that was, my mother’s birthday wish for this year.

This, is a mother, who wanted nothing but the best for her young, and, her birthday wishes showed just how much she wanted her offspring to be okay, because her birthday wishes are not about herself, but for the whole family to be well.


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