In my Human Rights in Latin America class, we discussed liberation theology. I’m now reading The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop?, which also focuses on the Catholic church and religion. In all of these classes and books and films I watch, I always (somewhat selfishly?) think about how it relates to me. For some reason today it all makes me think of my dad’s mother.
She was devoutly Christian and only spoke Cantonese. In all the years I knew year – she died when I was 11 – we never had much of a conversation. She could tell me to eat and that I was beautiful and that she loved me (all important things). The only thing she could write in English was her name. When she took her citizenship test, she memorized the sounds of the questions and answers and had little understanding of what the words actually meant.
Anyway, back to the point about her religion. She had passed away a few days after a church function (appreciation for the elderly day?). There were two pictures of her: one in the doorway of the event hall, and one at a round table with other people from the church. I was just thinking about how happy she looked, and how happy she was to live in China Town in San Francisco, and how happy she seemed at church. I don’t know if they gave mass in Cantonese, or if she could have conversations with people at her church.
Regardless of the languages we spoke, we loved each other. How crazy is that? I know barely anything about her: about how she thought, how she felt, how she formed sentences, how she told jokes, nothing. I know only what my dad told me. And this is one of the main reasons I have my dragon tattoo. Among many other reasons, it reminds me that love transcends everything, and that I have a family name and dignity to uphold. It was important to my grandmother (I think) that I be happy and successful. And while those are goals of my own as well, I have to remember that I am not the only one invested in my life.