Filial piety isn’t just an empty phrase–it’s a very important cultural concept throughout Asia and, if we’re being honest with ourselves, the rest of the world. While not all of us have the best relationships with our parents, most of us would probably admit, under pain of torture if nothing else, that we do love them. Even with all the embarrassment they put us through in our teens!

While most of our readers are still young enough that your parents are likely still healthy and spry, it’s never too early to take some time to stop and appreciate them and everything they do. If you’re thinking we’re being melodramatic, then we’d challenge you to take a look at this incredibly moving story…

We discovered this passage on Japan’s Niconico News, the news/blog side of the popular “Japanese YouTube.” Apparently, it was submitted by a middle-aged woman describing her relationship with her mother after moving away from home. It’s…well, let’s just say that it took us twice as long to read this because we had to keep stopping to blink back the tears. There must be lots of dust in the room or something.

Due to my husband’s job, we moved to Tokyo, and I didn’t often make it back home. One time, when I was back home for the first time in a few years, my mother was making a big fuss, saying stuff like “Contact me more!” and “I want to see my grandchildren’s faces.” So, I got her a cell phone and sent her text messages with pictures.

But my mother was no good with technology, and she couldn’t really respond. Not getting any replies, I sent fewer and fewer messages.

Then, one day, I got word that my mother had died suddenly. When I went back to my family’s home, the cell phone I had given my mother over ten years before was sitting next to her pillow. When I picked it up–the paint flaked and the whole thing falling apart–my father said, “She hated the thought of deleting your messages, so she never got a new phone. Whenever she had a little time, she’d reread everything you’d sent.”

The wallpaper she’d set for the phone’s screen was a picture taken at my daughter’s 11th birthday party. She was already 16 years old when my mother died. I started feeling awful when I thought about all the times I had told my mother that I was busy, never thinking about how she must have felt. If only I’d gone back home more often… I had never thought the time when we’d never see each other again would come so soon. I had no excuse. Mother, I’m really sorry.

From then on, I would take a family photo every year and send it to my father with a New Years card.

Sniff. We need to go call our mothers now. Here are some photos of adorable kittens.





Sources: Niconico News
Images: Wikipedia (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)