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Mother was killed in a diving accident last February and thus the twoof us were parted She was 40 years old a beautiful woman gentle andunderstanding who raised three children alone while building asuccessful business Just a month earlier we had been on vacation in LasVegas having dinner laughing with my brother and sister and then shewas gone What made her death even more poignant was the senselessnessof it all A careless diving instructor had left her adrift withoutsupervision or support Like her I was also left adrift withoutsupervision or support like her I was left with the responsibility ofcaring for others my siblings I had always been a fearless and determined young woman looking to makemy own way and be self-sufficient I had come to this country and livedlargely on my own in order to finish high school and pursue betteropportunities than those offered in China But in the days that followedmy mothers death I felt an overwhelming sense of helplessness andloss No matter how hard she worked or whatever the hardships there wasalways time and caring for us As an unconventional Chinese woman sheowned a well-known company and encouraged us to be intrepid to takerisks and to travel While other parents focused on their childrenstest scores my mother encouraged us to live fulfilling lives and toldus there is no single correct life but each of us must find a good lifeShe inspired me to go to Tibet and teach impoverished children Shesupporting me in writing a book while other mothers might considerwriting a book a useless waste of time She lived life on her ownterms and encouraged us to do likewise As the weeks past it was not so much that the grief lessened than ittransmuted I often thought of what would be a fitting memorial for herand slowly began to realize that the greatest tribute I could make toher truly heroic life was to be her daughter to see those memories notso
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