Tag Archives: Family lagacy

Blessings #2

Grandparents legacy continues, stories I would tell my grandchildren…

Blessings #2 – My Grandma’s caretaker

When my parents went back to Hong Kong, they got a place shared with three other families. It was on the third floor of a long flat in the Western side of Hong Kong Island. We shared a quarter of the flat. My older sister was ten years older than I.  She worked quite far away, so she roomed with another co-worker close to work. I was about seven or eight years old, but I became the oldest child in the family.

It was not very clear when my grandma turned blind. Our quarter in that flat was too small for grandma to live with us. So she lived by herself in an attic of another house. My chore was to take dinner to her every evening.  My mom packed the dinner in a basket and covered the food with a cloth to keep it warm (It reminded me of The Little Red Riding Hood!).  It took me about 10 minutes to walk to my grandma’s attic.  Walking to my grandma’s attic was a favorite part of my day. I still remember some of the stores and offices I passed by in those days.

The office that attracted most of my attention was an orthopedic office that had a huge aquarium in the front window. After I delivered the dinner to my grandma and helped her eat. I eagerly went home hoping to stop by the aquarium to watch the fish. They were colorful saltwater fish. Among them, there were several pink fish.  I was told that they were kissing fish.  I stood in front of the aquarium. My eyes followed the pink fish to see if they kissed.  Many times they swam toward each other, but when they got very close, one made a turn and swam the other way.  My eyes followed them again and waited curiously.

One day I stopped in front of the aquarium.  A girl came by and stood next to me.  I told her about the kissing fish.  We were watching.  Then the two pink fish swam slowly toward each other.  They were getting closer and closer.  Finally they were facing each other, and then kissed!

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Note: The scientific name of the pink Kissing Gourami is Helostoma rudolfi.  The male Gouramis don’t kiss the female Gouramis. The kissing, in fact, is fighting among the male fish.

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I have done some research about questions for kids to ask their grandparents. Here are a couple websites:

20 questions to capture grandma’s story: https://familysearch.org/blog/en/20-questions-capture-grandmas-story/

Family history question for kids to ask grandparents:  http://www.familytreemagazine.com/article/now-what-interviewing-a-grandparent

Blessings #1

Our church is a part of the Grandparents Legacy movement. The idea is to be active in their grandchildren’s lives. Grandparents tend to spoil their grandkids. It is perfectly fine to do that. On a serious note, there is such a richness in the grandparents lives, that is so valuable to the grandchildren. In order for this richness to be passed on, grandparents must be actively, consistently bestow on their grandchildren their value, their experiences, and their stories – thus, legacy.

Blessing #1 – My family survived WWII

I will start writing as if I am telling a story to my grandchildren. I count all the stories as blessings.

I will start with my parents. My parents got married when my father was sixteen years old and my mother was fifteen.  My mother gave birth to thirteen children and seven of them survived. I am the seventh in the birth order, but I only have one older sister who is second in birth order. I always wanted to know what happened to my first, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth siblings who were born before I, but my parents never mentioned about them. My parents went to Hong Kong from Canton, China after they got married. My older sister was born in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong was a British colony before and after WWII. On December 8, (Asian time zone), Japan launched an attack on Pearl Harbor, and invaded Hong Kong. Great Britain surrendered Hong Kong to Japan on December 25, 1941, on a day that the people in Hong Kong called Black Christmas. Japan occupied Hong Kong for December 25, 1941 to August 15, 1945.

Japanese invaded Hong Kong – Japanese troops were in Tsim Sha Tsui

During this period, my parents moved back to China. According to my older sister, they made a living by keeping a small farm. As for my mother, she continued to make babies, but obviously, the babies couldn’t make it under those hardship or lack of proper care.

On August 15, 1945, the VJ (Victory over Japan) Day, Japanese left Hong Kong. Three months later I was born. I was the only child among all the siblings born in China. 100 days after I was born, they moved back to Hong Kong where I was raised.  There was no transportation in operation. My family – my parents, my older sister, and my grandma, who carried me on her back, went on foot, following the railroad track for more than for forty seven miles to go back to Hong Kong. After our family settled in Hong Kong, my mother had 6 more children.  The 10th girl in birth order died of meningitis.

canton-to-hk-map

To be continued next Thursday……