Sunday, January 30

Day 4 - my parents

Parents are such an important part of our lives. Not only did they bring us to this earth, they shape who we are, how we think and the things we do. Even if they aren't around, their absence shapes us. That's why I didn't want to fold Parents into a multi-post.

My parents were immigrants from Hong Kong. I've spent the last few years piecing together stories of their lives, but from what I know now, my mom grew up in essentially Communist China, the daughter of a wealthy (?) shipping magnate. At some point in her youth, there was some war (WW2?- details are sketching and I still need to piece together dates with events) and the Japanese invaded and took my grandfather's ships and most of his belongings in Hong Kong. He left behind his 3 sons and daughter. Because of how it was, once the war ended, he could only collect 2 of his children and my mother stayed behind.

My mother was one of the few women to go to University back then, I believe there were only 2 colleges. She was lucky to get that far in schooling because by the equivalent of our 6th grade, the children got tested and she was very good in gymnastics so she was allowed to continue schooling. Going to school saved her from tedious, menial duties for the communal living that they were all a part of.

By 21, she had moved to Hong Kong and met my father at a factory that they both worked at. He was 17 years older than her, and I assume, to a young girl, rather worldly. Tho, from the stories on his side, I imagine he was a bit of a 'bad boy'. Showing me that the apples don't fall far from the trees. (guilty on the bad boy magnet here).

When Daddy was young, he was kidnapped by a gypsy. I don't know if gypsies are the same there as their stories tell here. I don't know what they wanted with him, either but I hear he was a beautiful child. Maybe they wanted to sell him.?? Boys were a commodity back then, even in 'progressive' Hong Kong. My aunt found him and brought him home. He was wild, having lost his mother as a baby. He started smoking at 6 or 9 years old. (yuck and ewww).

By the time I was born, he made shoes. Literally. He cut our leather, stitched and nailed shoes. How weird is that? Today, you just assume machines make the shoes. lol

When I was about 1 1/2, he left for America and landed in Myrtle Beach, SC. Which is where he settled and eventually sent for the rest of us. This is where my mom and dad raised us.

They worked all the time and I remember many nights of starting our 'family time' at 11 pm. No matter how hard they worked, they always made time for us.


I love that this challenge focus on parents. I know I never give mine enough credit for raising me and giving me the confidence, guidance, support and love to be the person I am today.


  1. This is a great post! What interesting lives your parents lived and how great that you are tracking down the histories!


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