Thursday, November 6, 2014


Auntie Susan, the apple of my grandpa's eye. She has
been by his side for the past year, visiting him three times
a day, enduring the cycle of recovery and regression. See
how she decorated her Papa with golden glasses. 
by Irene Breck
edited by globie, her daught-product

"My grandfather passed away while my father was still very young. Therefore, my grandmother had to raise all four children on her own. My father knew he needed to be aggressive in order to receive a better education. In his young age, he would stop his grandfather's sedan chair and ask for monetary support so that he could go to the school run by the missionaries. Hence, he was well educated and fluent in English. In his time, this was very unusual.

My grandmother was a very fervent Christian and served as a female deacon in her church. She certainly noticed her son's brilliant potential, and always wanted him to become a pastor. But this was not his choice at all. He was determined to run away from her God and her expectations -- as far as he could run. (I never realized my father was a Christian until I evangelized to him about God in 1997. I was surprised by joy. I also recognized that my father's gracious manner came from his Christian education and family.)

By his own choice and willful justification, he had [over the course of his life] two wives and many mistresses. He generated nine children between the two wives, but he also generated lots of bitterness between them. My [full] siblings always believed that our mother worked hard but died young, surrendering all of her properties to our stepmom, someone she hated most.

During the second world war, my father passed many challenging exams and earned himself the opportunity to further his education at Columbia University. He flew over the Himalayas and waited in India for three months for the boat to arrive. It took him across the small seas and great ocean to New York City; that was the only way to avoid the war zone. He had great experiences at Columbia: he had many girlfriends, while my mother waited in China with my brother. (I was named after one of these girlfriends; I had wondered why my mother was always upset with my name.) But nevertheless my father remembered his wife and children. Instead of staying in the United States, he came back to his country when China was still in the midst of civil war. I admired his courage for taking up family responsibilities on his shoulders when they needed to relocate to Taiwan in 1949.

God blessed him with many more children and wealth in Taiwan. He worked very hard as a professor at NTU and founding principal of Taipei American School to provide for two families. All of us thank him for he never abandoning us, and even leaving some wealth to us. But none of us appreciated having to live in his house with the shadow of the other family. My half-brother openly told us that if he had the choice, he would have chosen never to have been born into this home.

In 1997, my father's response to his faith was that it was "time to go back to church." He told me that he missed his mother so badly. He felt her calling in church, where he enjoyed old hymns from his childhood and the gentle calling from his mom. He told me that his friend 林語堂, a respected journalist, returned to church as a 60-year-old man. They shared the same province, background, and choice to avoid their parents' faith; but they also made the same choice to return. They both searched up and down the world, throughout all philosophies and religions. My father fell in love with many girls and made many mistakes, but God still loved him and allowed him to soar on eagles' wings. I praise my Lord as He has been gracious to my father, his children, grandchildren, and all his wives and girlfriends. Without my father's effort, God found many of us and has kept us well on earth. My father is ready to return to his heavenly home now.

Thank you for working so hard to raise us. May you rest in peace with your creator."

1 comment: