Khum Mae made a shirt for me.
When I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand in the mid-1990s Khun Mae, an elderly woman in Sisaket, allowed a bunch of us to stay at her place on the way to a tour of a Santi Asoke village. She gladly did this and seemed to like the energy a bunch of young people brought to her home.
Of course before we left, we all wai-ed and thanked her but when I got back to Buriram I also sent her a 1 Baht postcard thanking her again. Somehow she understood my poor Thai (and probably equally poor handwriting) and remembered me when I visited sometime later.
As I was out getting something to eat she unbeknownst to me made a shirt out of my favorite paa ka ma. (A paa ka ma is just a thin cloth about the size a medium sized bath towel.) This was just no ordinary, mass produced paa ka ma colored with bright chemical dyes. This paa ka ma was handmade with natural, earth tone dyes.
I didn't ask Khun Mae or even want her to turn my favorite paa ka ma into a shirt but how could I be mad at her? It was a nice pull-over shirt with two or three buttons down the front but the most endearing feature was a small pocket on the left sleeve in the shape of a heart. I wore that shirt a lot and frequently someone would point out the pocket and say that I wear my heart on my sleeve.
"No, I wear Khun Mae's heart on my sleeve."
Thank you to all the mothers of the world that look after Peace Corps Volunteers, I know they appreciate it so very much. Happy Mother's Day.