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Kim Tan-Wong

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Happy 60th Birthday
Kim Tan-Wong!
June 27, 2020
Letter to My Mother
Kim Tan-Wong understands that kids need time. She too, had needed time when she moved from Singapore to LA at 17 with her brother. Cultural shock, riots, earthquakes hit during her first year at USC. She planned to go home, but ended up staying in LA because she met my dad.
In 1991, Mom had me; Brian came a year later, and then my dad landed a job at MD Anderson. She packed up our lives, hopped on a one-way flight, and began to build her community right here in Houston. Because of her warmth and empathy, Mom became a central pillar as room mother, volunteer choir teacher, and dependable friend to all who knew her.
After Brian and I left for college, Mom started hosting international college students from her church for Friday dinners, becoming their American mother. Her house filled again with community, warmth, and energy.
Ten years ago, Mom's USC best friend wanted Mom to host her son and friends at an American high school. Mom spent 4 years raising her new Taiwanese sons alongside my youngest brother Calvin. They were all her sons. Mom believed in all her kids and students the same.
Education required time, and as an educational entrepreneur, Mom dedicated her life to her kids' successes.
Thank you Mom, for everything.
-Amelia, Brian, Calvin, Michael

Published in the Houston Chronicle on June 27, 2020

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