Joann and Jenny

I want my mom to know that she raised a strong, smart woman who is very grateful for all that she did for me and my siblings, so that we could choose our own independent paths.


What did you learn from your mother about being Taiwanese? (妳從妳母親那兒學到甚麼是一個台灣人?)

I learned to be polite and to respect my elders. I learned that eating food together is an important part of being Taiwanese. I learned to be proud of being Taiwanese.

Tell us about one of your earliest memories of your mother. (妳對母親最早的記憶是甚麼?)

I have this memory of us living in an apartment and someone knocking on the door. We didn’t know who it was so we were afraid, but my mom was there to comfort me and my older sister.

What is the most important thing you have learned from your mother? (妳從母親/女兒學到的最重要的是甚麼?)

I have learned that I should do whatever the people I love need. My mom takes care of my kids two days per week, helped us buy our house, cooks for us, folds laundry…

Tell us about the ways that your mother makes you proud. (妳母親/女兒讓你感到驕傲的是甚麼?)

My mom is very friendly and welcoming, so much more so than I or my siblings are. She gives so much of her time to volunteer with Tzu Chi. In 2004, my husband and I went to Taiwan with my mom, and the night we arrived, she took us to a rally for Chen Shui-Bian. That was the first time that I’d seen the activist side of my mom, and I felt really proud.

Tell us about how your mother inspires you. (妳的母親/女兒如何激勵妳?)

My father died when I was 14. My sister was 16, and my brother was 12 at that time. She took care of us and made us feel safe, and while she mourned our dad, she continued on with her life. She had stopped working for many years to take care of us kids, but after my dad died, she got her realtor’s license and then she co-started a bakery in Columbus, Ohio. She didn’t need to work after she married my stepdad, but she did it and the bakery, Golden Delight, now has two locations in the Columbus area and is really successful.

As time has gone on, how has your relationship with your mother changed? (隨著年歲的增長,妳們母女關係有怎麼樣的變化?)

I definitely had a rebellious period as a teenager in high school and in college, and while I know she wasn’t happy with some of what I did, she never took it so far to threaten to disown me and she took what I did in stride, even as I got one tattoo and then another, and then I became a union and a community organizer and she learned to be proud of that. I definitely depend on my mom a lot, maybe even more so now than when I was in college.

What is one thing that you would like your mother to know? (有那件事是妳希望讓妳的母親/女兒知道的?)

I want my mom to know that she raised a strong, smart woman who is very grateful for all that she did for me and my siblings, so that we could choose our own independent paths. 

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