When we asked Aya Bisbee, daughter of KOBO proprietors Binko & John to write about her mom for Mother's Day, we knew it would be touching, especially during this unprecedented time we are living through. It is also a good story, one of hope, connection, roots and remembering that no matter what, the bonds we have with others will get us through challenging times. Here is what Aya had to say about her mom, Binko:
I once wrote a mother's day card for my mom that said, “dear mama, you are an amazing woman”. I was probably about five years old. Yet seventeen years later, my sentiment is unwavering.
As a kid, I’ll admit there were times when I didn’t want to help price items, or wrap gifts, or wait at the shop for what felt like years until my mom finished up her work there. As a small business owner, work never ends and our family went through some difficult times. My mom struggled to keep KOBO going, while also being my mom all at the same time. Along with everything on my mom’s plate, she has always made time to be there for me.
I remember my mom doing her best to form my hair into a bun before my ballet classes at Cornish. I remember her picking me up early in the morning from sleepovers at friends houses, or taking me to the thrift shop on Broadway to find an outfit for the middle school dance. And when I eventually went off to college in Rhode Island, my mom never felt too far away, sending me care packages filled with my favorite snacks from Uwajimaya. When I moved to New York just a few months ago, yet another package filled with snacks arrived. And more recently, a package arrived filled with some latex gloves along with homemade masks she made. Somehow even when I am all the way across the country, my mom manages to be there for me. She is one of my best friends, my biggest cheerleader, and an inspiration to me.
Happy Mother’s Day to my mom. You are an amazing woman!! :)
Happy Mother’s Day to all the other amazing moms in this world ❤️
My mother tows me in the red Radio Flyer to Higo’s in Japantown when the Smith Tower looms tallest west of the Mississippi and the sidewalks on Jackson Street are knotty planks.