Hollywood has planted the idea that Chinese women are these docile, obedient, child-like creatures. It couldn't be farthest from the truth. If the father was the ruler outside the house, mother was surely the ruler inside.
My China-man's mom was born in China proper before the revolution. Luckily, she was not of the upper classes and so she was able to keep her feet! Grandpa, her husband, joined Chiang Kai-Shek's army, leaving his family behind. They were literally starving. Mother would cook rock soup! Two of their boys were so hungry they ate out of the garbage in the street, got food poisoning and died.
When they were able to escape to Hong Kong, the family lived all together in one room making paper flowers and such things for sale to survive. They grew soy bean sprouts for protein to add to their rice.
Finally reaching the US, they were able, through industrious efforts, to purchase two houses in Brooklyn. Grow up their families, even sending some of the boys to college.
Mama liked her Mah Jong and often went to Chinatown to play. She played there and at home everyday. In fact, the day she died, she had been playing, but stopped only when she felt tired and went up to bed. She never woke up.
The family felt that her ghost stayed in the basement. One of the brothers had been sleeping down there and claimed to have seen her. The family decided to sell the house with Mama's ghost in it. I guess she had unfinished business.
Writing and art are my passions!