image by J in flickr
Sometimes I think about Ma J. I'm not particularly close to her, but at those times, I guess I miss her. I can remember her speaking to us, seated at the rosewood dining room table in her flat, before getting distracted by a string of long distance calls to some relative in her hometown in China or a relative working (always illegally) somewhere in the UK or Japan. I think how nice it would be that she could still be there when we visit. Or harder still to forget the image of Ma J when she was ill. That stare, or the droop of her head - always anger or despair. The whole year she suffered the indignity of her illness.
Today is the 100th day anniversary of Ma J's death.
I was at work but J managed to drop by Pa J's flat to be with him. J pointed out to me the irony that of all his siblings, only his sis and himself - the only Christians in the family - were with his father as he performed the taoist rituals of offering up food, incence and loads of "hellmoney" for Ma J.
J: Wah, such giant notes! [J referring to the large 60cm by 30cm sheets of "hellmoney" in denominations of 1 million!]
Pa J: ...
J: You burn so much money for Ma, you better also burn a bigger paper wallet for her.
Pa J smiled, used to the nonsense from his youngest child. But that afternoon, alone in his flat, I think there were tears.