Commemorating one year after the passing of my grandfather.
June 21st marks the one year commemoration of my paternal grandfather’s passing. My cousin Gary Wu and I were in charge of putting together a slideshow. Here are a few of my favorite photos.
Both my grandparents were teachers. My grandmother is seated in the center surrounded by two of her colleagues. Notice her big feet. She was the youngest daughter in her family and screamed so loudly when they bound her feet that her mother told the servants, “Fine, let her have big feet.”
Good thing. My refugee grandmother would never have survived running through the mountains of Mindanao without big feet.
This photo was taken in 1969, and while it looks like my grandparents’ children are all graduating at the same time, it’s really a costume show. My father, the first child to leave the family for the United States in 1966, returned home because the business had burned down.
They took his homecoming as a photo op, but instead of posing in front of a charred building, they decided to wear caps and gowns. It makes for a more respectable family history.
My dad is second from the right.
Here is my grandfather playing the piano. I thought that he was making a racket, but he seemed to enjoy himself so my uncle took this photo. I wish now that I had listened more carefully to my grandfather’s music.
The dining room set in the background is at my cousin’s home. We are Chinese, so we cover everything in plastic. This is so guests think we always have new furniture even if the fabric underneath the plastic is faded from the sun.
My grandparents were married for over 75 years.
Look, they’re still smiling.
My grandmother burns incense for her late husband every morning. My relatives and the shaman say that this incense burning down in a circle shows that he is watching over the family in unique ways.
Next week I travel to China for the first time with my 97-year-old grandmother who hasn’t been back in over 60 years.
Visit YIJU: Songs of Dislocation for more about my grandparents.
For more Au Yong/O’Young/Au Yeung/Au Young/AuYong/AuYang/Ou Yang family photos and info, visit this website created by cousin Eldy Wan-Kenobi: