I visited Ruth because she remains one of the last known links to my mother as a child. Ruth was my mother's classmate and best friend in Pui Do girls school in Guangzhou. From her, I learned not only a great deal about my mother's youthful character but also of Ruth's early life as well. Both Ruth (father and mother by age 8) and my mother lost parents at a young age and the mutual losses bonded them. My mother's mother died when she was only six from tuberculosis contracted from a patient. I know that loss affected her sense of security throughout her life. My maternal grandmother was apparently one of the first female graduates of Lingnam Medical School. Both my mother and Ruth boarded and ate together nearly every day. Both were energetic and rebellious adolescents and created havoc, some having to do with the kitchen staff. It is just fun to imagine these two tiny strong-willed Chinese women, 5' at the most, stirring up big 'trouble' at school. My mother was apparently an accomplished pianist and singer which I caught glimpses of occasionally. Although she apparently aspired to become a physician like her mother, apparently falling in love with my father diverted her from that path. Ruth invited us to her nephew Nick's upscale, wine-walled, 'modernized' Chinese restaurant with farm-to-table and Kobe ingredients. Ruth remains remarkably sharp, ambulatory, healthy, indomitable and at peace. Someone to aspire to be like as I age. I'm so happy I got to spend time with her (and my mother).
|Ruth standing by her daughter's art work|
A reconnecting, life-affirming, mind-expanding and art-appreciating trip!
To close what began as a remembrance of my lapdogtop, during the transition from PC to Apple I discovered an email from Google that noted that the blog was one of the top 50 leukemia blogs. Whoa. What? Wow. I no longer think of this as a Teri's leukemia story but a paean to Teri's mindful life, my gradual restoration and return to life, and miscellaneous observations on healthy living. And I don't really know any longer who's reading it. But perhaps what began with disease and demise now has a healthy life of its own ...