Mom Magic: Roselle Nagaño Lee

Mom Magic is a Risen series dedicated to make our mothers feel like the queens they are. They've raised us to feel like royalty, so now it's their turn to wear the crown! In this series, we will talk a LOT about our moms and take the time to make them feel something with what we do, creatively! Have a great Mother's Day to you and your moms!

"What is your mom like? Describe her in a color and a smell."

My mom is laughter so strong that it goes silent, the sharp bark of criticism that needs to be heard, the quiet sound of tears falling. I smell her in the creamy scent of the sopas that she cooks, the summer wind pouring into a car window, the rich perfume that lives in her nursing uniforms. My mom is my childhood, my world; every scent reminds me of her, every noise is an echo of her name.

"What is something you love about your mom? What is something that you usually take for granted about her?"

It took me years to discover my mother’s strength, all that she had to endure to raise me. The taunts of her lilting accent from her coworkers, the judgements of my father, the fear of the unknown. But she carried the weight across her back without ever saying a word, only showing a smile of determination when my eyes met hers. I love my mother more than I’ll love anyone in this world, and I want to spend my life proving that to her.

My mom on her wedding day (the two portraits have been edited into the same picture). I showed her this picture and was met with a grimace and a harsh critique of all her features. I hope one day she realizes that she is one of the most beautiful woman I know. Until then, I’ll just have to keep reminding her.

Even though my sisters are so young, I can see my mom’s influence in them. The fairness in their games and the courage in their voice are the product of my mom’s love. Everyday my mother shows us patience, kindness, firmness and only waits for us to return the favor.

A Mother’s Day letter to make up for all the ones I’d missed. To make up for all the raised voices. To make up for all the angry tears. To remind the greatest woman I’ve ever known that my love for her is unending.