This week my mother had a party commencing her retirement after 38 years of work as a nurse. Coworkers and family members wrote messages to celebrate her career, and the following was my excerpt:

If there’s anyone who taught me the importance of hard work, it would be my mother.

I’m amazed at how much Mom has done over the years. She spent four decades as a nurse in labor and delivery, which by itself is no easy feat. But she also attended seminars to improve her skills, she took opportunities to work extra hours, and she even had a side hustle selling Avon products at the hospital. On top of that, she still had the stamina to cook and clean and tend to us when we were sick. I don’t know how she pulled it off, but she did.

It was because of my mom that I was able to go to college and become a software engineer. Writing code is hard, and technology breaks all the time. I always have to be around to patch things up on a moment’s notice. Dealing with these urgent requests is stressful, but I keep reminding myself that my mom has it tougher at her job. I’ll never have to do something as difficult as help a mother go through labor, but I’ll always have my mom as an example to look up to.

I don’t think I have to explain how difficult it was for healthcare workers last year. I was afraid of losing my mother during the pandemic, but fortunately she made it out in one piece. The next time I visited Mom, she finally said she’s ready to retire. I believe my mom has paid her dues, and I hope you agree that she deserves a break.