I always joked with my grandmother that she was born before her time. She entered the world in the early 1920’s and she graduated from high school in the 1930’s – something that was virtually unheard of during that time. I always knew that she was a strong and special person with an amazing set of values. She was the oldest person whom I ever met where ‘Girl Power’ was a part of her belief. No man would ever knock her down. She believed in equality between men and woman. She had the attitude that ‘You think I can’t do it, I will prove you that you’re wrong.’ She was strong-minded and a go-getter and I feel that she indirectly transfer most of her values to me through our long talks and conversations as a child.
I always knew she was the coolest grandmother ever! She drove everywhere herself – often speeding her way to her destination. She was stopped by the police several times for having a ‘heavy foot’ and had the ability to talk her way out of a ticket, often using her utter charm and pure wit. She often laughed and said no policeman would ever give a ‘sweet, not that old’ lady like her a ticket. She was the only person I ever saw driving with one foot on the gas and the other on the brake. She was the woman who danced every Saturday night away with my grandfather up into her early 70’s when a broken hip cause her to slow down a little.
And then there was this side to her where everyone was equal. She had eight children and over twenty grandchildren and she treated everyone equal. She would start her Christmas shopping in January so she could make sure she would get something for everyone. No one was left out, no one was forgotten, everyone received something. She remembered everyone’s birthday and sent birthday cards to all. She always sent Valentines to all her grandchildren, no matter how young or old. It is something that I looked forward to and always made me smile.
She was also known for her sass and quick comebacks. She was never at a loss for words. When she was taking pictures with me at my wedding, she kept reminding the professional photographers ‘to get her good side and to make her look good.’ I reminded her that it was my special day and I knew she would have a something funny to say. She told me ‘You are still in your twenties. When I was your age, every side was my good side.’ Everyone couldn’t stop laughing. It was a memory that I would never forget, a moment I will treasure forever.
There was also a softer side to her as well. She was a sweet woman who loved my grandfather so much. They were the ideal couple in my mind. Every Sunday, they would go on a ‘date’ to their favorite restaurant. They always joked and teased each other. It was wonderful to be around them and see the fun way they interacted with each other.
But, most of all, she as well as my grandfather were also the most supportive about my decision to move to Taiwan all those years ago, when my parents were so against it and stopped talking to me for a while. My grandparents both supported my decision to move to Taiwan from the very beginning. They were the two people who were always in my corner and the ones who told me to follow my heart and chase my dreams. They were the driving forces behind me with their constant support and encouragement when times were tough.
So, I thought I would kick off February on my blog with a post about a woman who always said ‘All great people were born in February – I was and you were and that handsome young man over there was, too (referring to my husband)!’
So, seeing February is a month of great things this year – my birthday/Valentine’s Day, my husband’s birthday, Chinese New Year and another holiday at the end of February, I thought I would take a moment to reflect on a woman who is still near and dear to my heart who was also born in February. Gone but never forgotten!