Rice paper calligraphy scrolls

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

The last time I saw my grandfather was last spring. As my father bluntly put it, it was the only opportunity we had to visit him before he dies of prostate cancer. Despite seeming like an overseas vacation, exploring shopping centers and eating at local restaurants, each day was made up of uneasiness of what’s to come. It was also my last spring break before graduating high school. 
My grandfather greeted me seated on the couch; his legs were too weak to walk and had to be helped into a wheelchair. He presented me with a illustration book of traditional watercolor drawings, flipping through each page and pointing out the characters I couldn’t read. He also showed me the calligraphy scrolls in his study room, and let me take a few. I knew that my father told him intensively about my academics and activities over the phone ever since I was young, and that he was well aware that I was applying to art school. Although I had no experience or knowledge with Chinese art or calligraphy, I was overwhelmed by my grandfather’s signal of reassurance. Although we have only met a couple of times, he followed through my growth and was possibly more supportive and understanding than anyone else I know in the States. I didn’t bring the scrolls back with me, but I did use one of them for a painting, which I gave to my grandparents as a gift before leaving back to New York. To be honest, I felt deep regret and believed that was the least I could do in return for everything they gave to me.

– Stephanie Yu

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant