December 12, 1927 ~ December 19, 2010
On 12/12/1927 my mother, Ms. Hsiao-Ing Jeng Wang was born in Chiayi, Hsing Kong, a small town in the Southern Taiwan. She came from a middle-class family and was the 3rd eldest among her brothers and sisters. As a child she was a very good student and graduated from a famous Girls' Senior High School in Hu-Wei. Taiwan was occupied by Japan at the time and this was quite an honor for a small town girl to receive a diploma there.
At the age of 22 she married my Father, Chang-Hsin Wang. In 1948 he received a scholarship from Hsaman University, in Mainland China, to study Politics. The two of them moved there together for over a year, but moved back to Taiwan before the Communists took over Mainland China. My father became a student at National Taiwan University, where he majored in Economics, and I was born in 1950. When I was four months-old my father died suddenly due to a local doctor's misdiagnosis. She was only 24 at the time.
Many friends and relatives tried to convince her to marry again. However, she had already made up her mind to bring me up alone, and refused. We moved back to her parents' house and she became a teacher at the Hsin-Kong Primary School. Her teaching career lasted for 40 years. As a teacher, she worked very hard and demanded very strict discipline from her students. Many of her students later became very successful in their career. Many parents from that school would repeatedly try to transfer their kids into her classes. She would often lead her students in extra-curricular competitions against other schools and students, and bring back many trophies. Her students are spread all over the island and even now, several of her students will call to chat with her.
In 1992 she retired from teaching and moved to America. She stayed with us for 18 years. During this time the whole family grew up together and traveled to many places together. Retired and playing with grandkids, this is one of the most desired dreams for many Chinese. She was always very independent and enjoyed very much riding the Metro bus with her friends to nearby attractions. One of her favorite activities was going to lunch in Little Tokyo in downtown LA. She could speak Japanese fluently and even the Japanese people she met there said they couldn't hear any accent.
She had a small frame body and used to walk very fast. She was a finalist in one of the fast walking competitions for senior Taiwanese from the South Bay. (I still remember that the champion actually "cheated" by cutting across the tracks from the outside lane.)
Her lifestyle was very simple and she did not want to waste a single penny. However, she was very generous to her grandsons. One of her favorite dishes was a rice cake made of radish. Even while she was in the hospital she still thought about the cake made by my cousin, May Hsu.
For the past two years, she fell several times and broke or fractured many bones. Every time she tried very hard to get back on her feet, looking forward to a quick recovery. The last fall in November proved to be very fatal. Since then several organs could not function properly. She passed away in the Little Company of Mary in Torrance, California on 12/19/2010. She was 83. She will always be remembered as a good teacher, mother and Grandma.
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