Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lose Give Bitter Sweet

Daily art seems a silly thing to me this week. Who cares? Not me. Not really.

Last Saturday we lost a very dear friend, Henry Wong. He was only 46. Henry was born in Hong Kong, came here when he was eleven and became American. Henry was a patriot; more so than many who are born here. He and his family embraced the freedoms and opportunities of this country. Henry was a chemical engineer for the Navy.

Kam Hung "Henry" Wong and Sai Hui "Sarah" Wong would have celebrated their 20th anniversary in February. Sarah spoke beautifully at the service. She told us how Henry had taught her English, taught her the restaurant business, bought her first car, brought her entire family here from China... she said they had spent nineteen years learning each other.

Henry and Sarah have two kids - Ashley who is Courtney's age and Alexander who is 11. That's how we met Henry - through our kids playing soccer. Years back, JR and Henry coached against each other, but lately, Henry has been JR's assistant. JR is the offensive specialist; Henry was the mastermind of the defense. We also know them from their restaurant - Empress Court.

It doesn't make any sense to me. Making little things seems futile.

At Henry's funeral, his brother Howard got up at the end and explained a couple of things to us about a Chinese funeral. As we passed by the casket, we were to each bow three times to show respect. On the way out, we were to take an envelope from a basket. Inside the envelope was a dime and a piece of candy. The family had suffered a terrible loss; to balance it, they had to give away money. The bitterness of the loss would be balanced by the sweet candy.

Lose Give Bitter Sweet


carol said...

Beautiful, timeless sentiment, Debbi...and so true. Henry's family is in my thoughts, and so is yours.

Carol Sloan said...

perhaps your art art will help you to many artists say that it was the one thing that took them through such a heart breaking time. I will keep Henry's and your family in my thoughts.