I first moved abroad when I was 18 and a common question I get asked is whether my mother misses me. Of course, she does, but she is happy as long as I am happy and healthy. That is the most selfless love I know and today, and every day, I am beyond grateful to be the daughter of the most incredible mother.
I haven't seen my mom in 1.5 years because of the pandemic. I could have gone home, but I thought it would be safer to wait. She will be vaccinated in two weeks, and I can finally go and spend time with her.
The work my mom has done to keep me mentally healthy during the pandemic is beyond incredible. Living abroad during a pandemic is not always easy. I moved here thinking I would be traveling back to Europe twice a year, bring home souvenirs, and hopefully, she would come to visit me too. But life is what happens while we were busy making other plans. In our case, the pandemic happened.
I am thanking my mother on this day, and I am also thanking Bangladesh for giving me a safe home during the pandemic. Like so many things in life, it turned out to be a place where I chose to stay when I least expected it. At first, I stayed because I worried to transmit the virus while traveling. Now, I'm truly happy to be here.
The bond between a mother and a daughter is irreplaceable and special. The bond I formed with Bangladesh will always be defined by gratitude, admiration for its resilience, and a loving friendship. I hope my mother will be able to come here soon and see all the beauty Bangladesh has to offer.
Mom, I love you more than words can say.Happy Mother's Day to you, and to all loving mothers!
Irene Sommer is a German Art Historian, who received her academic education in Germany and the United States. She's managing International Affairs at the Vice-Chancellor's office at Brac University.