Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Life update

Apologies for being so absent on this blog. Life got in the way.

This summer has been quite eventful. Here a few things that happened (hence, the absence from the blog)
1. Work became super busy as we doubled our team from 4 to 8 in a matter of 1.5 months. Lots of training but lots of fun growing our family at work.
2. A plethora of friends came to visit this summer (hosted friends every single weekend in August and still hosting a few more in Sept!). It was really great just to catch up with friends that I’ve been limited to seeing just 2-3 times a year now that I live in NorCal and don’t have the time to fly home.
3. Had a family reunion that took me on a mini tour of Asia including Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Taiwan. It was hectic having 19 people under one roof but it was definitely a memorable trip.
4. I got engaged. After 3 years of dating, the love of my life popped the question (on my birthday no less) and we are getting hitched next summer. Wedding planning has officially begun and I am terribly bad at it.
So there you have it. That’s my summer in a nut shell. I’m looking forward to an upcoming trip to NYC/DC and a number of other things. I’m really thankful for where God has taken me on this journey. This year has been a huge blessing in terms of friends, family, and the lovely fiancee. And we still have 4 months to go!
I’m definitely excited to see how the rest of the year will pan out but 2011 is shaping up to be pretty awesome. I’m speechless with how much God has blessed me.

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10 years today

A lot can happen in ten years. And the last ten years flew by really quickly. Nothing revolutionary happened (although you did miss 9/11 by a few months) but life happened. I graduated high school, college, and went to work. I moved to Norcal. I discovered people who I could call my lifelong friends. I went through many personal discoveries about myself. I grew up. I met a guy. And so forth. By most accounts, I have a normal life that is sometimes exciting and sometimes not.

Even so, I still wish I could share it with you. I spent the last week thinking about how I wish you and I could meet right now. I thought about what it would be like to have dinner with you and have an adult conversation. You would share your business wisdom with me, I would update you on my life and ask for your advice. I’ve been told many wonderful things about how you were as a businessman and friend by countless of the church elders. I only knew you as my dad. Now that I’m an adult, I wish we could meet now. I wish I could see your character as an adult. I wish I could introduce you to my boyfriend. I think you guys would really get along.

I also think about how different my life might have been if you were around for the last ten years. How would you have influenced my life? Would I be where I am today if you were still here? Would I have made different choices, choices that were influenced by you? What would you think about the person I’ve become?

I have all these questions that I’ll probably ask you when I see you again in Heaven. Until then, I’ll always wonder, I’ll always think about you, and I’ll always hope that you are proud of how I turned out (or how I will still turn out).


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(via BSPCN)

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30 years of living in the US did nothing to improve her English. Following the earthquake in Japan, I emailed her right away to see if my relatives there were okay. Here’s the email that came back this morning.

Hi Diana,

3rd aunt house in Tokyo Japan is ok. She and kiyo  in Taiwan now, they will be back Tokyo next Monday.
Have may may friends call asked 3rd aunt they are in Tokyo is safety or not?  Thanks  Raymond you noted to John uncle.
I wrote back to her:
“Hi Mom,
That’s good to hear that they’re okay.
I have no idea what your second sentence is saying.

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She’s 97 but she drives like a 16-year old who just got their license. Trust me on this. A few years ago, we were heading to a restaurant and she offered to let us follow her car (she drove). Within 30 seconds of pulling out of the parking lot, I lost her. She was going 65mph on local streets, swerving in and out of traffic. I felt like I was watching “Fast and Furious–The Grandma edition”. She’s ridiculous. She can balance herself on one foot while tying her shoes on the other. I’m 24-years-old and I can’t even do that without almost falling over. She is full of life and has the energy of any child.
Except that day.
You see, she was the closest person to our grandpa. My grandpa was a pretty quiet man who kept to himself a lot. However, when he was with her, they would chat up a storm in Japanese. The cousins and I call her “Japanese girlfriend” because she was always with him and we don’t actually know her name. She didn’t come to the funeral. We saw her drive by but she didn’t show. When she met us later for lunch, she explained that she couldn’t bear to watch our grandpa be buried. She sat quietly during lunch. Her usual banters were gone. You could tell her mind was somewhere else. I didn’t cry today at the funeral but I cried when I watched her today at lunch. To see others in that much pain is something I can’t bear to watch.

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See you later

I knew this day would eventually come. Today, the first of my grandparents passed away (I had a grandma who passed away before I met her so that doesn’t count). Exactly one year ago (minus aday), my dog passed away. Not to sound heartless but is it odd that I cried for my dog and I haven’t cried for my grandpa yet?

To be fair, my grandpa lived a long 95 years. He was healthy and fortunate to pass away from simply being too old. My dog was also healthy and fortunate enough to pass away from simply being too old. The last time I saw my grandpa was back in March and even then, I knew it was most likely the last time I’d ever see him. I’m sure at some point, it’ll really hit me that I won’t be able to see my grandpa again but it brings me peace knowing it wasn’t an out-of-nowhere death.
Growing up, he lived with us so I will always credit many of my childhood memories to him. He was a quiet man who watched over us but also gave us our space. His home was flooded with pictures of all his grandchildren. He always hoped that one of us would get married soon so he could attend our wedding. He rarely smiled or laughed but whenever he did, you felt a sense of pride knowing that you made him smile or laughed.
I hope that I will be fortunate like him, live a long and healthy life, and die because of natural causes. He will be missed.



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Happy Birthday

Dear Dad,

Happy birthday! I think today would be your 62nd birthday. To be honest, I’m actually not sure because I don’t remember the year you were born so I just went off mom’s birthday. That’s what I think it is. I haven’t really thought about your birthday in quite some time but I thought this year I would. A lot has happened in my life since the last time we talked. I’m sure some of the choices I made would make you mad but I think for the most part, you’d be proud.  I wish I could share with you but I’ll just have to wait until the next time I see you.


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Mommy goodness

I love my mom very much but her English is horrendous. Everytime I get an email from her, I end up laughing at her. It’s worse when we chat on Skype and she can see me laughing for no reason. Bless her heart.

Here are just some examples of her emails. After reading her emails again, I’ve concluded that this is exactly how she talks in English too. Sigh, 25 years in America didn’t help her English at all.

I emailed her to let her know I won’t be able to talk to her for a week.

Hi Diana,

Is vacation time coming. Hope you have a nice and safety trip. Maybe you can shell me,what you see in Shanghai betwen now and 10 years ago.

God Bless,
I emailed to let her know I was flying home to visit. AHAHA my fright number. Sigh..

Hi Diana,

I’m so happy come back to us. I can call you anytime anywhere.

Call me. I will go with to dinner.
Send me your fright no and time. I will go pick up.


When she went to Japan to visit my Aunt when she had to do chemo


How are you! I didn’t hear anything from you, it mean no news is good news.

My sister (Pailing) she had chemo (1st time) now. She looks everything is ok. She so care her hair her image. She so weake no engary.

I am in Japan from March 7 until April 18. My major job is with her give her support. I need help their family do housekeep, prepare three meals. Kiyo and Rie all day in school.

Grandpa and grandma they so worry. Everyday used skype many many times.


God Bless,

She went on a trip in Europe and emailed my brothers and I to tell us about her trip.

How are you everyone! I am come back Taipei on yesterday May 8 early morning.Our tour has may may good spot to see also very busy and tight. We fly from Taipei to Germany Frankfurt begin our trips. we go to Geneva in Swizerland,Neuschwanstein in Austia, Zugspitze in Germany, Praha in Czech … Is fun .

God Bless,


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Like most moms, my mom loves to chat about anything and everything. She’ll call and ask a succession of questions that could have been asked in a single question.

Simple question: What types of jobs have you been interviewing for lately?

Mom’s version: Are you job hunting? How did you find these jobs? Did you submit your resume? What kind of jobs have you been looking for? Have you interviewed? When were your interviews? What’s the company? What’s the job position? What city are they in?


After another string of rejections (hey, at least I’m getting interviews), I decided to take a week off from job hunting and go back home. After driving 5.5 hours, I was welcomed home by LA traffic and a barrage of questions from my mom. She always uses the same tactic. She cooks me a great home-cooked meal and while I’m eating, she’ll subtly give me lectures, or something along those lines.  (For those who don’t know, my mom lives in Taiwan so when she comes back to visit once or twice a year, I take full advantage of these home-cooked meals)

Here’s a snippet of the conversation (and the real meaning behind it all).

By the way, it was all in Chinese so this was the best translation I could do.

Mom: How are you and [boyfriend]?
Translation: I want to hear the gossip so tell me something besides “good” (which I always tell her)

Mom: Have you talked about the next step with [the boyfriend]?
Translation: Do I need to play matchmaker and find boyfriends for you?

Me: You don’t have to play matchmaker for me. I’m only 22-years-old
Mom: I know but one day your chance will run out so I just wanted to keep option for you
Translation: The countdown has officially begun. You’re going to expire around 27-28

Me: Need me to help with dinner?
Mom: No it’s okay. You can observe and learn how to cook
Translation: Your cooking is terrible

Me: I’m still looking [for a job] It’s been really tough out there
Mom: I know, I just want to help
Translation: Move back to Taiwan with me so I can watch your every move 24-7.

Mom: Go with me to LA tomorrow to see your aunt! Come on, it’ll be fun. We can catch up in the car
Translation: Be my driver.

Mom: Do you anything from Costco? Come! I’ll buy you whatever snacks you want (man, no matter my age, that will never get old for me)
Translation: I’m gonna need you to carry the loads of groceries into the house later

What does your mom say when she really means something else?

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Our last hour

His eyes darted back and forth between my mother and I. He would stare at her and then at me and then at her, going back and forth rapidly, as if he was trying to make himself dizzy. He frowned, eyes growing wider, as I silently brushed his hair with a comb. My mom held up a plastic cup to his mouth, motioning him to take a sip of the water. He shook his head, lips pursed, refusing to open his mouth. Stubborn. I guess that’s where I get it from. No words were spoken but I knew. I could see it in his eyes. Fear. He was scared out of his mind. I forced a little smile, afraid that if I broke the silence, I would break into tears. I kept on combing. My uncle was at the foot of the bed, straightening out the blankets so that it would keep him warm. My brother sat in the corner, eyes focused on his Game Boy, too young to really know what was going on. I put on a brave face. I was his little girl. I didn’t want him to worry about me. I wanted him to know that I could take care of myself. My mother took the comb from me and continued to brush his hair. I decided in that moment that I would try to comfort him. I leaned in close to him and whispered into  his ear, “Don’t worry, I’ll find a boy who fits what you want for me.” I think the word “boy” made his eyes wider than I had ever seen them. His 14-year-old daughter was talking about boys. I can only imagine all the things he wanted to say in that moment. All the warnings he wanted to give me and all the lectures that would never take place. I could see all the questions in his eyes. I could also see all the helplessness. The look of knowing that he would never be able to meet any future boyfriend; knowing he could never interrogate any guy that I brought home; knowing he would never be able to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day. I smiled and said, “Don’t worry, I promise I’ll pick a good one okay?” It was 11:55 p.m. now, it was time to go home. I had to get up at 5:30 a.m. to go on a one-day mission trip to Mexico. I gave him a kiss on the cheek for the last time. He looked at me with a look that I had never seen before. I can’t quite describe it but I still see it in my mind from time to time. “Bye daddy. I’ll see you tomorrow night okay?” That was the last thing I said to him. I left the room, left the hospital and climbed into the car to go home. 6 hours later, he passed away.

It’s been 7.5 years and I hope he knows I made good on that promise.

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