Dear mom, The past five days has been a blur. I was exhausted and stressed than sad, arranging everything from where your memorial service will be to your cremation schedule, even the flowers to be displayed in your wake, and what we will serve visitors for dinner. I have never understood the need for funeral planners until I have snapped at so many people for asking too many questions – when really, all I want to do is lock myself in my room, curl up in bed and mourn the fact that I have lost you. They asked me to say a few words during your eulogy. As always, I have been assigned to be the family’s spokesperson and yesterday was no different. Even though I spent your wake like a broken record, replaying the same story of how you hugged me (and my siblings) and told me you loved me the night before you died, I honestly had no idea what to say. I guess I spewed out disconnected snippets from the time we spent together. How do I even start to summarize twenty-four years into one eulogy? If there is one thing I am sorry for (aside from losing your physical presence), it is the fact that I only got to take you to one vacation. When I got my first paycheck three years ago, I immediately booked a room at a resort to celebrate your birthday. At the time, I still had no savings and a small paycheck, but you were so happy and grateful. You told me you were so proud of me and that it was your best birthday ever. You didn’t want me to spend my hard earned money that you insisted that I don’t pay for the entire trip. You’ve always loved to discover new places, and I promised you I’ll take you to a new one for the rest of your birthdays. I’m really sorry that I did not get to keep that promise mom. I was on a business trip during your birthday the following year, but you told me then that the best gift I have given you is by excelling in what I do. Little did I know that you’d be too sick to leave the year after that. I still wish I could have brought you with me every time I traveled mom. You adored the fact that I enjoy it (as much as you did when you were younger) and often ask me to take a lot of photos so I can send those to you. I’ve become a cynic while you were sick mom. You do not know how hard it is to believe in anything when I had to watch a kind person like you suffer. I still don’t understand why it had to happen, but I’m thankful that you’re not in pain anymore. And I know you got to see new places for your birthday this year mom. I may be sad that you’re gone, but I’m happy you’re peaceful in heaven.