analytical Q May-Aug 2000 Sept-Dec 2000 Contact Discussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

25 November 2000 Saturday





As it gets closer to Christmas, I fidget and worry over what to do. Every year, when the streets light up and classical music stations start playing Christmas tunes, I'm reminded that I need to do something about the final two weeks in the year.

My mother told me today that she missed her mother (my grandmother). Whenever she felt homesick, she thought of her. She wondered if her own three children ever get homesick? If so, do they miss her? That's an interesting question, I thought to myself. I asked her how long I could stay for Christmas. She replied happily, as long as you want.

Forget exotic holidays and other tropical escapades I've been dreaming lately. Home is where the heart is. At this moment, it's certainly not here. I will fly to see my mom with a suitcase containing the different cotton cloths I've collected over the years. We will cut and sew clothes for the summer. We will cook and bake.

During my first year in college, I got my first taste of homesickness. Everytime I received a letter from my mother, just seeing her handwriting on the envelope made me cry. It was the loneliness of longing and wanting to belong that couldn't be fulfilled by any of the kind families who welcomed me for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

As I grew older and got used to being by myself, this homesickness would reappear at this time of the year - when it gets colder and darker. Thank goodness for my mom. What is Christmas without mommy and Santa Claus?

From Father 29 Nov:
I read your 25 Nov diary. it is emotionally well written. However, those who were orphans while young could feel indifferent after reading it. This shows you had a happy girlhood. I was homesick when I was a college student in Taipei while your grandparents lived in Tung Kang in Ping Tung county. All these 50 years mainlanders in Taipei have been homesick, missing, particularly during festivals, their loved ones left behind on the mainland. The feeling of nostalgia in their hearts has been so overwhelming that some have taken their own lives. Along with the fading of ideologic hostility and Peking's opening to the outside world, many old soldiers have seen their loved ones on the mainland in the past decade, though some are sad to find their loved ones have been long gone or remarried. I myself have often had the nostalgic feeling on my mind whenever I see a movie or a photo with the background of Shanghai. After two visits, the feeling is not so heavy now. All your aunts and uncles, however, do not share my nostalgic feeling toward Shanghai as they were too young to have a clear picture of the city. When you get married and have your own so-called nuclear family (extended families are dwindling now), your homesickness will be soon cured.