Chloe and I were paid a visit this week by one of the most monumental women of all time:
With the superior treatment we’ve received from of her, the token messages of wisdom and strength and beauty with which she has bequeathed us, not to mention her positively gorgeous sable skin tone, to us, she is Oprah.
I watched Chloe and Oprah embrace, two identical women of equal coloring and stature. And that’s when it hit me—Chloe had her mother in Cambodia. And I needed to find mine.
We immediately packed our belongings and loaded a van headed toward Siem Reap, home of the great temples of Angkor, in search of my honorary Cambodian mom.
We went first to Ta Prohm, a sprawling temple constructed amid a thriving jungle.
The temple was built by King Jayavarman VII in honor of. His. Mother. But not in honor of mine. We searched under the fig and silk-cotton trees, through the bas-reliefs of Buddhist mythology, and nothing.
Angkor-Wat, the world’s largest religious monument, was next. As the pride of Cambodia, the temple was surrounded by two thousand goddesses carved into stone, inspiring the unconditional love and compassion that I was looking for.
I weaved in and out the looming pillars and archways, carved with images of Lakshmi, the Hindu Mother. I climbed the wildly steep staircase to the temples’ top floor, looking down into the crowds of tour groups for Mom. I ran through the lush grass garden calling for her.
And then, from a distance, I saw her. I first spotted our coordinating outfits—her pink pants matched my trusty harems, our complementary black tees, and our hair pulled up into the most elegant of chignons. Really our whole get-up was just very classy. But it wasn’t until I got closer that I truly knew. We had the same face.
I had found my mother.
Contributing writer: Chloe