Loving letters between American pal and Chinese mother-in-law
2018-05-17 16:01:00

Aaron is an American man who married a Chinese girl in 2016. Upon Mother's Day, he decided to show his gratitude for his mother-in-law through a letter.

Dear Mom,

Happy Mother’s Day! Since it has become tradition in our family to celebrate joyous occasions both in China and the United States (how many families get to celebrate two weddings by the same couple?!), I’m glad that this holiday also crosses international borders. I have always found it an important time to slow down and be thankful for my mother’s role throughout my life, and I imagine that the sentiments are quite similar for children over in China, too. Although to be honest, it was only recently I discovered that the holiday existed in China; perhaps I should have known that nobody can resist having a day to be celebrated!

In the United States, Mother’s Day has always been about showing mothers the love and appreciation that often gets overlooked in the daily grind. It is a day to pamper mothers (and often, grandmothers and other mother-figures), often through making them breakfast in bed, going to brunch, sending them to the spa, or giving gifts to make their life a little bit more comfortable. But beyond just gifts, it is a time to express love and gratitude.

Thinking back to my own childhood, it has always been the heartfelt cards and messages that my mom seemed to love the most. In grade school, we would often make Mother’s Day gifts as art projects; I remember decorating a picture frame with dried macaroni, but after all the messy gluing and painting, it was the note written in my little-kid handwriting that made my mom tear up and realize she had a family that loved and appreciated her. On reflection, perhaps this is because I am a better writer than I am a gift giver, but I suspect the true reason is that saying “I love you” matters a whole lot more than a token of appreciation.

I realize that finding that level of comfort expressing love and appreciation is tougher when you neither share decades of history nor speak a common language. But if there’s anything that I appreciate as much as my own mother’s role in raising me and shaping who I am, it’s your role in raising the woman I love the most in the world. I’m only five years into my journey with Ning(Aaron’s wife), so I can only imagine how challenging those first twenty-five years were for you! But humor aside, it’s clear to me when we are all together or apart what a force for good you are in our lives. I am continuously amazed at how you have welcomed me into your life, and as we spend more time together in the coming years, I hope you can see me increasingly as a son, able to share successes and challenges, impart wisdom, and even sometimes make fun of me for my limited Chinese vocabulary.

I wish you all the best this Mother’s Day!



Receiving this letter form the other side of the ocean, the mother-in-law, Xie Rong, was touched into tears. She also wrote back.

Dear Aaron,
I am so glad to have received your letter, and thanks for your good wishes and caring words.
You are a loving and giving son. Actually, I just wish you to be healthy and happy like all parents would do. It cheers me so much to learn that you cooked breakfast or sent your mother to spa. These bring me more joy than any material rewards or gift because at our age, the most precious gift is companion from our offspring.
From your letter, I have a feeling that you have a great and wonderful mom who loves you so much in your growth. In China we always say that “Father is stern and mother is gentle.” Maybe mom has a warm and caring image in most countries and regions around the world. Of course, both fathers and mothers love their children unconditionally. When our daughter Ye Ning got married to you, you were already our son. We might not understand each other’s languages and have cultural differences, but you two, the young couple thousands of miles away, are always in our heart.
I believe that parents, even grandparents in both families have set good examples for you in managing a harmonious family life. Marriage doesn’t just mean caring for and be tolerant for each other in daily life, but more importantly a lifelong spiritual companion. We are very proud to have a son-in-law like you, and we are confident about you in managing a successful family life.
Thanks again for your letter and please write such a loving letter to your father-in-law too on Father’s Day, or else he would be jealous of me, hah!
Wish you a blissful life, wish your parents healthy and happy always.

Love you!
Xie Rong

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Source:jschina.com.cn Editor:Nicky