Defiance: A Tribute to My Mother


Posted: May 04, 2021 12:01 AM

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My mother passed away in November at the age of seventy-seven. Her life in China was tragic and it took me several months to write about her life and death because I had to confront the complex feelings and meaning of her legacy.

I loved my mother for her kind and gentle soul. She was meek, although often in ways I did not understand: bulliable, submissive, and conflict-averse.  Her interactions with China Communist Party (CCP) officials were characterized by obedience and tolerance to their inhumane treatment of people like herself and I was long haunted by a childhood memory illustrating the aforementioned, where she got on her knees and begged a CCP official for a raise at her factory job. She sacrificed her dignity only to be cruelly denied. 

I used to assume I was entirely my father’s child, as he was a fighter whose strength was like the factory steel he worked: firm, resilient, and tough. I spent my life assuming that

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