Monday, February 20, 2012

A Magical Transformation: (Taylor’s Tale on Spirits of Her Loving Italian Grandpa)



Taylor's sister Suzy Pen and niece Liz Willow, Beijing, 2001



Mr. Murphy has had enough of his acting career by the end of 1970, he had been a hero for at least twenty years, being on spotlight makes him well known, but nobody knows how much he yearned for freedom, he hungered for ordinary life, the experiences he had back on China during 1945 made him both anxious and exciting…he dreamed about being able to go back, live on a farm, with private vegetable gardens in front of the house, and trees growing in the backyard, river next to the long road across the village, he especially longed for the fresh air, as he recalled his walk around the lotus pond 500 feet from that house…

Everyone believed that communism was wrong, he agreed, and felt happy to see that America had isolated the republic of China after the declaration of independence of the mainland China, on October 1, 1949.  But, but, something kept stirring in his mind, he could never tell the public what it was…and this bothered him a lot.

Unspeakable anger grew inside him…He felt like killing again, too bad the war was over.

Then he had this plane crash in 1971, which ended his young life, he was only about 47…

News of his death exploded like the drop of an atom bomb, everyone was in a shock, sadness, regrets, relief, and wonders began to stir everyone who knew him. He was gone…

God knows how to treat people in his own beautiful way…This is the magical part of divinity.

Back in China, Taylor’s mother got pregnant in 1971, the baby was expected to be born in May…nobody knew that how special this baby was…Taylor was about three and half when Suzy was born on May 14, 1972, and she was a lovely addition to the Pen family, Suzy became a new favorite to her parents, father named her Spreading Love as an official name, her nickname was Book Lover, in English, let’s call her Suzy…

The family built a three bedroom house after Suzy’s birth, Suzy’s parents lived in a medium bedroom on the other side of the living room, the Asian Grandpa, the Chinese folk math talent lived all by himself in another medium bedroom, opposite to Suzy’s parents’ room,  Suzy, Taylor and their grandmother lived in the biggest bedroom, on the far side of the living room, but next to grandpa’s room, they had to walk pass grandpa’s room, enter a door, then into their big room…

Suzy slept with grandmother Jewel in a double bed, Taylor slept in a single bed, next to grandmother’s, they had a chicken house by the end of the living room, a kitchen plus a pig den built separately on the back of the main house, father taught arithmetic at locale elementary school (not a party member at all) , and mother worked as a women head trying to get ladies in the village to work together to make better harvests on corps such as soy beans, cotton woods, corn, peanuts, wheat, and rice…..the community union does not pay officials at all…father could get a small amount of tips for teaching because 90% of the school teachers came from towns or cities, they are not called farmers, and they expect some small salary…foods come from fields farmers grow, they only need money to buy salt, plus some clothes for new year’s celebrations. Life is not rich, but they had enough to eat.

Both boys and girls in the village are encouraged to go to school, no charge, they only spend money on books and pencils, subjects include arithmetic, language arts, drawing, physical exercise, and music… they would walk 5 to 10 minutes, and take classes, come home for lunch, then go back for afternoon school, and get released at 4pm, students were grouped up and took turns cleaning up the classrooms after school was over on daily basis.…

Suzy and Taylor are about more than four years apart, Taylor was closer to grandmother, while Suzy was spoiled by father and mother as the youngest child.. at times, Taylor would get jealous about how special mother treated Suzy, for example, she allowed Suzy to buy her favorite dress, not giving Taylor the same treatment, which made Taylor upset…overall, parents loved each other,  grandparents stayed distanced yet respected mostly…

Taylor's brother Shawn Pen and sister Suzy Pen, 1996
Beijing Northern Sea Park


Parents never expected to have the third child, yet in early 1983, mother got pregnant, she was determined to abort the fetus, because there was one child policy after Suzy’s birth in 1972, mother continued her work at farm, and she made it to the hospital three times, every time she went, either the doctor was not available, or electricity was out…mother grew out of patience…both father and mother had official positions, they could lose their jobs if they kept the child, but she tried so hard, the doctor refused to give her the needed surgery to get rid of her unborn child, thus, mother determined to give birth to this child, regardless the gender, she would take it and accept punishment from the party, so the decision was made, both grandparents supported, they were ready to have the third baby girl in the family, they did not ask anyone for help to identify the sex of the baby, then in November, 1983, mother gave birth to a male child, which turned out to be Taylor and Suzy’s baby brother…his nickname is Joy, and Taylor gave him a English name Shawn,
While Shawn growing up, he would be loved an spoiled by Suzy,  since Taylor had been out of town attending high school and later college…Taylor is relatively random to Shawn…Shawn loved his younger sister more in return…

When Taylor made it to college in 1986, grandparents were almost 80 years old,
They were clear headed and felt happy.

In 1988, grandpa died, then Suzy was forced to quit school, because Taylor’s parents felt too much stress at the time, supporting Taylor’s college fees, which was not much burden  to city folks, because at the time, Taylor only needed to pay books, and food, but since the location was in Beijing, she had spent more money then she expected to do…that’s the sad part…

After Taylor graduated from college and found a full time job at Beijing, she was asked about her family members, and background as well, Taylor’’s coworkers recommended Taylor to invite Suzy to Beijing, for goodness’s sake, Suzy found a job, she sold fruits on main street, and later worked at a factory.

Suzy had been special to Taylor, she had given up her chance to go to college at the first place, and when Taylor gave birth to her first child Sheng on May 22, 1993, with Sheng’s Dad studying for his Ph. D. at university of Chicago, Suzy volunteered to work for Taylor for about seven months before Taylor and Sheng set off to North America in December, 1993.

Suzy was lucky enough to get support from Beijing citizens from Taylor’s working company even after Taylor left, Suzy was introduced to a Beijing native man named Peaceful Willow, they got married in 1994 and she gave birth to her daughter Liz Willow in May 27, 1995.

 Liz Willow, Beijing, Taylor's Niece, 2001

The little brother, Shawn, who had been treating Taylor as his role models growing up, worked hard and made it to one of the best college, got his Masters’ degree in Beijing, found a perfect job in Wuhan…his girl friend, now newly wed wife had been his classmates in college, she grew up as a city girl from a middle class family, and determined to love Shawn…she speaks perfect English, everyone adores her…

 Taylor's brother Shawn Pen and sister in law.....

I am telling this family story in highlighting the spirits of Mr. Murphy, his spirit never died, and this is shown in Suzy, being ordinary, supportive, and happy in very different ways…Liz Willow has been smart and doing great in schools, she is expected to attend college within two years..

Bless grandpa and grandma in Heaven….
Bless Suzy and her family…
Bless Shawn and his wife…
Bless Taylor and her family…
 Tom Woo, Dallas, Texas, vacationing with his family,
Taylor, Sheng, and Dad Justin Woo, 2000

4 comments:

Iris Murphy said...

the inspiration hits all of a sudden, isn't it?

Thanks for telling such a lovely tale.

Aya Wilson said...

amazing tale to know.

:)

Aya Wilson said...

lovely photo shots...
Beijing looks like an inviting place to be.

Taylor Boomer said...

wow.

Tifiny, this must be a fiction, right?

blessings...