慈悲 覺悟 善良 快樂 智慧的黃媽媽


克里夫蘭黃唯大律師的媽媽管國華女士的葬禮于2017年1月21日上午10點在The Church of St. Dominic天主敎堂舉行,黃媽媽的家人和朋友送黃媽媽最後一程,在禱吿聲,優美的歌聲和美好回憶中我們與黃媽媽吿別。她眞有心,走後還給我們留下午餐費...


My Mother
By George Huang

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedules to join us in saying goodbye to our mom. Many of you have traveled long distances to be here to help us celebrate her life. And the fact that you are all present speaks volumes.
After getting to know my mother, or Mama Wong, as most of you so affectionately called her, you have to believe there is a God, because who else could have the power and imagination to have created someone as unique and special as my mother?
Try as I might, I cannot find the right words that can fully describe her.
She was a force of nature, and many stories of her can help me paint a picture for you of the woman we knew and loved. First and foremost--
I'd like to talk about the boundless scope of her interests. Many of you, who knew her well, probably know that she read 3 newspapers every day and that's where she absorbed all of her information, from daily happenings to current political events. From there, she would dispense her skillful analysis of these happenings and events, analysis brought about by her publishing and journalistic family background.
And her interests extended even farther beyond that. From her obsession with basketball when Jeremy Lin rose to fame to her love of gambling. And her love of gambling was legendary. She used to tell us "you do not need to know the game. You just need to know how to read people. Always bet with the winners of the table and you are almost certain to go home a winner." And of course she was right. More times than not she would share with everyone her winnings in red envelopes because she firmly believed in the principle that the more she gave, the more she would receive.
It's funny, my sister Margaret would often offer for my mom to fly first class when going back to Hong Kong. And mom would always refuse. She explained herself by saying that she would rather take her friends out to dinner with the price difference between Economy and First Class. And this has been the core principle by which she lived her entire life, and one that she instilled in her family's heart, as well.
The accuracy of her foresight was almost magical, from her successful matchmaking to playing the stock market, even to buying real estate. In terms of matchmaking, we have two people here today who can personally attest to my mom's skill. From her successful investments in real estate in Shanghai, and our accountant can vouch for this, our mom was a better investor than all of us combined. This was a woman who knew so much about the world that it was almost as if she could see the future.
Another important piece of her foresight, that, in hindsight, the four of us benefitted from, was that she insisted on putting us through Anglo-Saxon English-speaking schools starting in the first grade. She bucked the trend of parents sending their kids to Chinese schools, when that was the norm in the 1950s. She told us, time and again, that Western society was the future. And with that and the sheer strength of her will, she moved her family from Hong Kong to the United States, where we were able to pursue and achieve our American dreams.
As the matriarch of our family, she held every single one of us, the four of us and our spouses and even her 9 grandchildren, to a higher standard, from our careers to our relationships. She drove us to pursue the seemingly impossible and to value relationships above all else, be they with family, or friends.
On that note, I'd like to talk about the vast diversity of her friends--I remember she once boasted that she had friends in every country in the world. I said, no way. So she asked me to name a country. Any country. And she would tell me who she knew there. So I picked South Africa. Without thinking she said, "remember Wong Popo? the matriarch of the shoemaker family? They opened a cloisonné factory in Johannesburg...." And the Sung family in Germany. And Ting Popo in Italy.... and Siu Popo in Australia. I learned that day that I should never question my mother.
And that, I feel, is the key to my mother's life. I remember the first time that I went back to Hong Kong after moving to the States. This was in 1981. The first thing that she did after I dropped off my bags at home was to take to me to visit a lady who helped our family as a maid when we were just little kids. Ah Dai, who was actually Cecilia's godmother, was delighted to see us. And I think at the time, I was a little taken aback by the fact that we needed to visit a maid. But later on, I understood that this was how my mother treasured relationships, no matter how high or low one's position in society.
Earlier last month, I was talking to mom about some of her friendships, from back in the day. She mentioned that she would often spend time with the female street vendors who sold vegetables in the outdoor market. In the afternoons, she would go out and spend time with these ladies, talking about anything and everything, liao tian. On one of these particular days, she had lunch with these ladies. And that very evening, she went out to have dinner with a couple who she knew. Now, this couple rolled in at the restaurant in their chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce. Once they were seated, Chan Gong Gong asked my mom what she had been doing that day. She answered that she'd been out with these ladies from the outdoor market. Baffled by this reply, Chan Gong Gong asked, why would you hang out with these street vendors? Mom said, for the same reason as I am having dinner with you now. This was Mom's philosophy: that a person's value laid not in their material wealth, but in their humanity.
I have learned so many things from my mother. Everyone in this room--whether or not you realize it yet--has benefited from her wisdom.
Her legacy will forever live on within each of us as we strive to live the lessons that she taught us so generously with her every breath.


Funeral Mass for Mama Wong

Several years ago a book came out entitled the "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" which caused all sorts of debates about western-style parenting and Asian parenting. I never read the book, yet I read many of the reviews and very often I would think to myself, "Is this how the Wong family was raised?" I mean, 4 successful children, countless awards and accolades, success in school and in business, 3 daughters and a son who without fail meet every Wednesday for dinner to strengthen the bonds of their family?
Yet as I read more about the Tiger Mom theory, I couldn't help. but think that the mother in the story sounded more like a kitten than a tiger, at least compared to Mama Wong. Because for 16 years I have had the joy of knowing this beautiful family, and I have watched all the good they have done in this church community as well as the larger civic community. And I have had the honor of marrying some of their children and burying their beloved Kam. I have shared countless family meals with them and I have watched as they have stood at each other's side in every kind of situation. And at the center of all of that was this force, this power, this woman whose life we come to celebrate today.
Mama Wong. So much more than a tiger mother.
What will life be like without her?
Who will tell them where they should live, who they should marry, where should they go on their next trip? Who will tell them what they should wear and what kind of pictures they should hang on their walls?
Who will bring them back to earth when their heads get too large or urge them to press forward when they are discouraged?
We come today as people of faith to celebrate the life of this amazing woman, and perhaps just as important, to celebrate her greatest treasure, this family that has touched all of our lives in so many beautiful ways.
Margaret and Cecilia, Rose and George...in the gospel today, Jesus said..."Do not let your hearts be troubled, for I am the way and the truth and the life." From the day you were born, you were always taught that there is a right way to do things, a wrong way to do things, and then there was your mother's way to do things.
All of us here today stand in awe of your mom, but I think we also stand in awe of you as well. For each of you and your spouses not only taught us how to honor our mothers and fathers, you taught us how to revere them. Through a mixture of fear and power and sometimes brutal honesty, your mother showed her love for you the only way she knew how, and no matter how much she might have driven you crazy at times, you knew it was just Mama Wong's way, and because she was your mother, you did what she said, even when you didn't want to. And fortunately or unfortunately, she was usually right.
So what will life be like without your mother?The story of her life is a story that movies are made about.., starting out living in the countryside as a child, shepherding a large group of relatives to the city as a teen. Making contacts and connections with everyone she met, from Bishops to vegetable sellers and billionaires to casino workers. Your mother made every person she met feel valuable understanding that life is all about relationships and what you can offer people and what people can offer you.
She understood that the world was political, from government leaders to spies in prison, and she used all of that for the good of her family. She truly was one of a kind...so what will life be without Mama Wong?
Looking at all ofyou..I can't help but think you will all be just fine...because the most important thing your mom left you was each other...and this family, your children and someday your grandchildren, are a testimony to your mom's life and the values she has left you with.
Each of you understood your mom in a way that perhaps none of us can.
You knew when to go to her and when to hide things from her, and each of you chose a spouse that you knew she would never completely approve of....well, everybody but George.
I know Lily that your sisterinlaws are forever grateful for all that you did for their mom, as your understanding of culture and tradition guided you along the way. Not many women could have done what you did...and do it with such reverence and devotion.
Mama Wong had a unique perspective on just about everything in life, and not even the Church and God were spared. She had a strong devotion to the Catholic Church, and made her husband take her kids every Sunday while she stayed in bed. Coming to Church here on Sunday was not a big priority in her life, yet she was the first to contact me when I received an advance academic degree and hosted a traditional Chinese celebration meal for my family. She seemed to be more comfortable at a baccarat table then a church pew, yet prayer and God were central in her life. I am sure that when she entered the gates of heaven she bypassed everyone and went straight to the man in charge.
She was no tiger mother, she was mama Wong, in a class all by herself.
She lead a long and gracious life, and she lived it to the fullest. Surely she made mistakes along the way, yet her crowning achievement is her family, that is her inheritance to all of us.
So what will life be like without Mama Wong?
As Bishop Pilla once said, "A mother's love will follow you wherever you go." The power of your mom's love does not end with the passing of her earthly body. She will always be with you, telling you what to do next, guiding you as she always did. Pray to her, listen to her and honor her as you always did. Forgive her for when she disappointed you and accept her for who she was. You were richly blessed by her and she was richly blessed by you...even though that was not something that she could ever say.
Stay close together as a family. Remember the lessons that both your mom and dad taught you. Continue to share your Wednesday night dinners. Use the gifts God has given to you to help those struggling around you just as you have always done.
Follow the way and the truth and the life of Jesus...and of course, Mama Wongs way as well, ...and together celebrate the life of this powerful woman you called your mother.
May the peace and love of God, that your mom shares in this day, be felt all the days of your life together. God blessed us with your mother's life and God blessed us with all of you. Let us leave this place in faith today, confident that one day we will see her again and enjoy her love to the fullest.