As a younger person, I learned that my role, as youngest female, is to care for my parents. Somewhere along the way, I learned that this is a very traditional take on Chinese culture. Some of the modern Chinese and Taiwanese with whom I speak do not relate when I say some of my traditional ideas. My mom carried a lot with her when she walked out of China as a two-year-old fleeing war.
I told my mom that I love and respect Waipo (the Chinese term for mother's mother) and that I remember that she wasn't good to my mom sometimes. My mom jumped to Waipo's defense, "You know, she left two children in China, she experienced a nervous breakdown because she didn't know whether they were dead or alive. She cried all of the time..." I feel empathy for my grandmother's depression, and I also comprehend how her emotion state affected my mother's emotion state. My mother grew up in a world with consequences of the effects of depression combined with the natural emotion-avoidance of Chinese culture. She then went on to experience her own depression, as did I.
A couple of days ago, my Chinese grandmother departed this world. She was a strong, determined woman. I didn't feel emotionally close with her, and I respected her. In a quiet moment, I asked myself whether it'd be wise to attend her funeral. I received a no. I love my family, and my guidance tells me that the funeral gathering is not a good idea for me right now. It's odd to feel this -- sure about my answers, uneasy with my role. Love to you, family. War is a cruel experience. We carry it in us because war doesn't dissolve with time. We also carry great meaning and purpose with each breath.
1/9/16 - I discovered that my mom was eight months old when she left China. She didn't walk out, as I described in an above paragraph.
Well hello there.