My mom was a woman who was way ahead of her generation. For a woman born in China in 1914, she was bold to have defied her mother’s desire to play matchmaker for her with a son from a wealthy family. This was definitely not the norm for Chinese girls during her days. She had already met a young man she thought had ambition and drive. She married him, my father, and chose to get a secretarial job to help with the finances.
I was too young to know much about the early years other than my father having to settle his father’s debts before he managed to transition into a shipping business after the war. Once the family finances were secure, my parents made sure that we had a quality education and engaged home tutors in Chinese, calligraphy lessons, plus piano lessons for all the kids and ballet for the girls. My mom took on the task of visiting boarding schools on the East Coast before sending my brother and me to prep schools.