Friday, February 15, 2013

I only remember a handful of things with Li Zhen. We had same Chinese classes in Queens College. We played tennis in Queens College Campus where now became the college dormitory, we went gym to swimming, we ate in nearby Chinese restaurant at night. Li Zhen introduced me to teach in Chinese school, in which I worked with her as well as her mother. After we graduated from Queens College, Li Zhen became a graduate student in the teacher’s school in Columbia University. While I didn’t hang out with Li Zhen anymore after she moved to Manhattan, I became her mother’s friend. We lived in a same street, when we cooked some nice food, we shared with each other. Li Zhen’s father offered ride to me every Saturday to go and back from Chinese School. When I was pregnant, her mother hoped Li Zhen finding a boyfriend, marry, and have a baby too. When I had my baby, her mother gave me baby clothes and red envelop.
Li Zhen and me had an age gap and gradually developed unlike way of lives. The recent years, I heard her news indirectly from different friends. She earned a MA in Columbia University, she obtained a bilingual teacher license, she found teaching job in a school in Manhattan. While seem as a preposterous future was already on her hands, we suddenly heard she retreated to Flushing because of stomach cancer. Weeks and months, she, accompanying with mom and dad, struggled and was still survival. We all admired her courage and persistence, as same as we admired her persistence in her study. I and my husband paid her a visit during last Chinese New Year. She appeared calm and very normal. Yesterday, the first day of this Chinese new year, a friend called to say hello and mentioned her death weeks ago. I went to her facebook page, the date was January 17th, the funeral was at January 20th. I missed the dates.

I am not very sad. Her success or failure was basically no effect on my life now. But, I thought about her death all the night yesterday and I still could not get her out of my mind this morning. Yes, I did share some life time with her, the memories are here.