No one knows this picture exists. I’ve held onto it for three years for this special day.

This picture was taken at my white coat ceremony in my second year. While classmates were celebrating with friends and family inside, I had a quiet conversation and moment with my mom while my dad went to grab the car. I forget what we were talking about specifically, but I just remember that I was very happy that she was able to make the four hour drive up to Boston in order to make the ceremony. This picture was taken in June of 2018. She would pass away four months later.

One of the main reasons why I persisted to become a doctor was because my mom wanted to see me become one. When she passed, I knew I absolutely had to see this through to the end. Every test I faced in the past 2 years threw me into a pit of anxiety. What if I don’t pass this final? What if I screw up this clinic session? What if I don’t pass boards on time? All because I didn’t want to repeat 2017 all over again and let her down.

But now I can say that I haven’t let her down. This chapter of my life has a very happy ending. I am a board certified optometrist: Dr. Andy Chen. I can rest easy now. And so can she.

I did it mom. I hope you’re proud of me.

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