After submitting my thesis corrections, I rang Mom, who asked after "my grandson", the puppy. She was buoyant, thriving, already planning for her future after retirement. I thought of her history: fleeing Cambodia at the age of 19 to a refugee camp in San Diego, sewing piecemeal for unscrupulous factory owners, running a donut shop into the wee hours while dealing with racist bastards, learning the skills to assemble robots for the pensioned job she has now. She doesn't have a primary school education. This PhD is all due to her, her guts, her resilience, her will to survive. I owe it all to her.