Shengliver’s Note: Danny’s family are so extraordinary that this entry does not focus on one member but on all of them.


Danny is doing her last year of high school. She is excellent. Her optimism and candour impress all around her, and she probably has to owe her success to her sunny disposition. Speaking in a loud voice, she chats with the boys boldly.


Her mother, who works at a local supermarket, is kept busy by the job. When Danny has a day off and goes home on the weekend, she will help with household chores like cooking and cleaning. I told her in the journal that this is the best way to make her mum happier and to relieve the mum of her heavy burdens.


Danny’s mother was beautiful as a girl. One day a neighbour, a matchmaker, introduced her to a young lad, who was to become Danny’s dad. The two fell in love at first sight. After the first meeting, the young pair went on a lot of dates. They finally went steady.


The trouble was that the young man was from a poor family. Danny’s grandmother was pigheadedly opposed to her daughter’s relationship from the very start. The young man was not welcome in the girl’s home. And the girl was told to split up with him as soon as possible.


Despite the mother’s objections, the couple were fond of each other and their love deepened as time went by. They decided to tie the knot. When Danny’s granny learned about their decision, she flew into a rage. She declared that such a union shall never go ahead as long as she was still on the face of the earth.


Her opposition was dwarfed by the young couple’s affection for each other, however. They planned their wedding and went ahead with it in spite of the mother’s anger. The lad and his friends came over to the girl’s home, dropped the presents in the house, and carried the girl away to the groom’s. Danny’s granny provided the daughter with no dowry at all on the day.


While the wedding was going on, the old woman came and started to make a scene. She cried and yelled in an attempt to disrupt the ceremony. Did she succeed? Of course not. The wedding proceeded, and the young man and the young woman were pronounced husband and wife.


After their wedding, the young couple were not allowed to visit the mother. The mother said that she no longer had this daughter of hers.


When Danny was born on a snowy day a year later, her grandmother came over to her home and made an exhibition of herself. She protested angrily about the birth of the child. But as a Chinese saying goes, rice done cannot be undone. The old woman could do nothing but leave the new family alone and keep her mouth dead shut.


Danny’s parents have been self-sufficient ever since their marriage. The father is industrious and the mother diligent. The family have been improving their quality of life all the while. They bought their TV set, the fridge and all the other modern conveniences as their wealth accumulated. And they live comfortably in their own flat. As cold and hostile to the family as the granny is, her attitude has changed a little, because the daughter, Danny’s mum, gives her cash gifts sometimes.


Speaking of money, Danny told me that her granny loves nothing more in the world. Here is one more example. Danny’s aunt, her mother’s elder sister, her granny’s eldest daughter, was fading away from cancer, but the old woman still asked her son-in-law, Danny’s uncle, for money. What did she use the money for? She blew it all on a sightseeing tour of the country with her friends.


What a woman! When I came to the end of Danny’s journal entry about her family, I exclaimed. I prayed, “God, send this Chinese woman down to hell when she dies! She does not deserve a place in heaven.”

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