She went to the United States for the first time. To find her father.
Like mother like daughter. Very much like me, we don’t think that deeply about consequences of our actions. And we are often very surprised when reactions do not match expectations.
After finishing nursing school, she had planned a trip to the Bay Area with a friend to visit a classmate. At the last minute, the friend bailed. Yet with the same headstrong characteristic that she passed onto my sister and me…she continued with the trip. Fiercely independent, she traveled around the Bay Area (and met my dad who was her classmate’s older brother).
To this day, I don’t know whether it was planned early on or impulsively planned once in the Bay Area, she decided that she wanted to meet her father who she hadn’t seen for decades. Having doused some older letters with vinegar, she found her father’s address in Queens and flew to New York City. Once there, she waited at the address and finally met him.
Impulsively, she said dramatically, “I found you!”
After that, she realized that she didn’t have a plan for what would happen next. Just like most Chinese families, he invited her out to dinner…and other usual customs.
I don’t have a similar family situation now (both of my parents live in idyllic suburbs in the same house that I lived in since I was 7)—but I think that I would have done the same thing.