I don’t have much from my family in terms photos or stories. My mother’s side of the family lost everything during the Cultural Revolution. They left China with almost nothing and made it to the United States in stages.
My grandmother, my mom, and her sisters were the first. Followed almost twenty years later by the boys, my two uncles. This photo is one of the few images that I have of my grandmother and her daughters together.
I think this was taken in Hong Kong in 1964.
We’re kind of a strange family on my mother’s side, bucking almost every Asian stereotype and defying just about every cultural tradition. Everyone in my family is bad at math. No one is lactose-intolerant and those of us who drink, can drink like fishes. Most bizarrely for an Asian family? Girls are favored more than boys — much to the consternation of my uncles, brothers, and male cousins who complain that they received zero attention growing up.
My grandmother was a athlete, the star-player on her high school basketball team. She was strong-willed, cultured, and always smelled like Chanel No. 5.
My mom is equally as awesome. She listens to Chinese opera at deafening volumes in the car, proudly has Priscilla Presley’s autobiography on her bookshelf next to Shakespeare’s tragedies, has never missed an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, and makes no apologies.
The woman can sass the heck out of you.
I love her so much.
Happy Mother’s Day to my dearest mom and also to all you mothers out there!
(Can you guess who my mom is in the photo? I’ll give you a hint: we both have a penchant for cat’s eye glasses)