Today is St. Patrick’s day and my dad made some corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. My mom asked what was the meaning behind St. Patrick’s Day and it sparked a conversation on the Saint Patrick, Ireland and the potato famine (I always forget St. Paddy’s Day is about real things and not just green beer). Then my mom was telling us about growing up in China. She and my grandmother left China for Hong Kong in order to avoid a famine that was going on in China at the time. She told us that they used to give out food stamps, but not the ones they give out here to supplement what you already buy. The kind where there’s literally no more rice left and you can only buy one bag for the whole family so you hand in your stamp and that’s all you get. My mom had to get up at 5am to wait on a line with her grandmother in order to *maybe* get 2 fish but by the time she was up, there were usually no fish left. My grandma had to ask an older kid in school to fight on the rice line at school so my mom could get a bowl of rice for lunch. At one time my grandma weighed 60lbs.
Usually when she talks about her life in China and Hong Kong I am so uninterested because the way she tells those stories, it just seems like it’s coming from a place of contempt…like she’s trying to make me feel guilty for something. I’m not sure why it got to me this time, but it made me really sad. And then I had a vision of my mom as a really little girl who was burdened with so much responsibility, and I saw my grandmother sacrificing her life for her family’s. Then I had a realization that my mom has been struggling her whole life and continues to now in her marriage and her career. And I guess today I really saw her as a single person, the way she sees herself. Not the way that I see her, or as how she fits into our family, but just as a person. And it’s really powerful to try and see someone as how they actually are, and not how they relate to you. It just made me sad. If you could see everyone through all their experiences, it could get super sad.
I was listening to too much frank ocean tonight. #toodeep #peace