Moh Moh’s Roles in Our Family:
My Daughter and My Mother

In life, there are those serendipitous moments, which can radically change one’s life. I love traveling, especially overseas. The purpose of my first trip to Myanmar was to interview the Lady, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. That experience seemed like it would be the crème de la crème great moments in my life. It was something that drove me, and I worked hard to reach that goal. However, I failed. Nevertheless, I had several tour guides throughout the country. When I arrived near Inle Lake, Moh Moh was my guide.

Talk about serendipitous moments. Moh Moh had to stop at her home to pick up my itinerary after I left Inle Lake. Had she not had to get paperwork, I wouldn’t have met Ti Ti, her nine-year-old daughter, who was home on winter break.

Ti Ti was the bridge that linked my family in the States to my new family in Myanmar. During my time in the Inle Lake area, I met Ti Ti’s two young sisters, Snow and Fatty, and their father, Ko Ko.

Over the past decade, I have visited my family two additional times. I just wrote an essay, I Love My Family. We chat regularly on video calls and email all the time. Moh Moh just emailed me about a couple of photos that Dr. El-Samad, my podiatrist, had someone take during the operation on my foot.

Moh Moh is my adult daughter, but she is also my mother. I have a strange relationship with Moh Moh, especially when she takes on her motherly role.

Moh Moh wrote that she was sad when she looked at the photos and was worried about my suffering. There are about a dozen and a half stitches from my ankle to the bottom of my foot. Naturally, it does hurt.

While I’m fine, it has taken a month to come close to normalcy. Part of the slowness and pain is due to my doctor tightly wrapping my foot after the surgery. The tight wrapping restricts the blood flow to the area. That causes pain, but it was necessary. If the blood flow weren’t slowed down, it would rip out the stitches.

For a month, Moh Moh was concerned about how long it would take for the incision to heal, and I could walk without all the pain. The Moh Moh added, “I would love to share your pain, if possible, to ease your pain.

When I read her comment about taking some of my pain away, I emailed her. This is a short part of that email. “You wrote the most loving comment that anyone ever said to me. “I would love to share your pain, if possible, to ease your pain.” Moh Moh, I mean what I said. Your comment was an adult version of Snow holding my hand. I have written about being the luckiest person in the world, and it all started nearly a decade ago with you as my tour guide in Inle Lake.

We can express our love for someone by saying that we love that person. However, when we want to act upon our love, that truly resonates with the person being loved. This is how I ended my email to Moh Moh.

In America, there is an old song, The Road is Long.

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where
But I’m strong
Who knows where
Strong enough to carry him
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

So on we go
His welfare is of my concern
We’ll get there

For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

If I’m laden at all
I’m laden with sadness
That everyone’s heart
Isn’t filled with a gladness
Of love for one another

It’s a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we’re on the way to there
Why not share

And the load
Doesn’t weigh me down at all
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

He’s my brother
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

It has taken me a long time to write this email while trying to stop crying. You and my family are the most important people in the world to me. You have eased my pain and caused me to be grateful for all that you and my family have given to me.



PS I took this photo from my deck looking across the lake the other day. I hope that you get the green cards for the family and move into my home here in the States. We will sit on the deck, have dinner, and talk about serendipitous moments.