Joy for the Lonesome
By: Angela Lee Kwan


I can't honestly say that I feel qualified to elaborate on the contributions the Lung Kong Tin Yee Association has made to the Houston community; however, I do feel confident describing a more personal and heartfelt impact that the LKTYA has had on the most intimate and most important community of all ‑ my family, one relative in particular.

My grandfather has lived a happy, healthy, and prosperous life. He may not have ever been famous or rich, but he has accomplished more than most. At his old age, and with my grandmother in Heaven, I think he gets very lonely, as difficult as it is to admit. The sad truth is both my parents work; my siblings are married; and I go to school in Austin, but when I am in town, I try my best to keep him company. Home alone all day, he usually spends his time exercising his arms and legs; he also enjoys cooking, especially snow peas and pig feet. Although he doesn't watch much television, his favorite programs include the news, The Price is Right, wrestling, and westerns. I don't intend to sound disrespectful by any means, but he leads a very mundane life.

In fact, he rarely leaves the house on a regular basis except to cut his hair or go to Wal‑Mart and the Chinese grocery store; he is so adorable with his predictability because he always has the exact same list of things to buy. Generally, he insists on staying home ‑ I think because he deems it too much of a hassle to leave the house. Oftentimes, my family will eat out with my mom's relatives, but my obstinate grandfather refuses to come because for some absurd reason, he's under the impression that he isn't invited, when of course, he is.
          Yet there is one place my grandfather is always willing and able to go, a place where he feels comfortable and welcome ‑ the Lung Kong Tin Yee Association meetings. Every month my father will take him to a LKTYA dinner; I'm not sure what exactly goes on at these affairs, but fm grateful for them nonetheless. I'm thankful for the fact that an organization composed of people with similar backgrounds can unite together to promote a common culture. And perhaps these meetings are merely a social gathering, an excuse to eat some authentic Chinese cuisine. In all honesty, it doesn't really matter to me what the LKTYA does outside of these meetings; instead, what matters is that these get‑togethers bring a ton of joy and anticipation into the life of a ninety‑year‑old man whom I love dearly. It's pleasing to know that once a month, my grandfather has something to look forward to ‑ a party where he knows all the guests and can expect delicious food and delightful conversation. And when I put it in that perspective, being ninety doesn't seem quite so different from being nineteen.

                     [Top of Page]               [Quarterly Magazine Page]               [Home Page]