For those of you who haven’t met me before, I’m Amanda, Ling’s daughter. I’ve been told by some of you that my mother liked to brag about her children to others (even though she was always constructively critical to our faces!), so I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you anything more about myself.
You probably don’t know much about my mother herself though, which is a reflection of how personally humble she was. What you most need to know is how devoted she was to her family, and how she lived her life to ensure the security and success of those she loved.
At the age of 15, she left school and moved by herself to Hong Kong from her small hometown in then-rural China. She started working in a factory, and sent her paycheck home to her parents and younger siblings every month, so that they could have a better life at home.
She met my father within months of moving to Hong Kong, after being introduced by the owner of the boarding house that she was living in. They married a few years later, when she was barely eighteen. She then devoted herself to looking after her ageing mother-in-law, my grandmother. As my dad says, out of the six daughter-in-laws that my grandmother had, my mother was her favourite because of her devotion to the family.
Then they had me, and within a few years, she decided that in order to give her child the best possible life, they needed to live in an English-speaking country with a great education system. So she left behind everything she knew, and moved to a country where she couldn’t speak the language, all for the future of her daughter.
For the next fifteen years, my parents worked sixteen hours a day in a takeaway shop, all to put me, and then my brother when he was born, through school and to give us the best they could afford. Even when they started their cleaning business a few years ago, my mum still insisted on working long hours to earn more money, to provide the two of us with more opportunities for a better life, while depriving herself at the same time of something as simple as a long weekend away, or a new piece of clothing, or a meal in a nice restaurant.
As you can tell, my mother was a strong, courageous, resilient and family-oriented woman. From a young age, she demonstrated her determination to do what was best for those she loved. She was consistently courageous, willingly leaving what she knew behind and taking the risk by jumping into the unknown.
Now that my mother’s gone, I can’t think of a better way to pay tribute to her memory than to take those opportunities that she worked so hard to give us, to make the most of them, and become the happy and successful people she always wanted us to become. To do anything less would be an insult to the sacrifices that she made.
I will always miss my mother. That goes without saying – she was taken from us too young, and though we’re not a demonstrative family, always managed to show her love through something as simple as cooking my favourite meal whenever I visited. I’ll miss her every time I walk through the front door, but I know that whatever happens, she will be with me.