A Letter to Ruby by William Y. Fong

I met you in New York in the Summer of 1953. You came with superb recommendations from my brother Billie and your mother Kam Ngo when I first met her. You were a bright young lady who had just completed your education at the University of Hawaii and Smith College and obtained your first job in the Big Apple as a nursery school teacher to continue with your career in primary education. I was a confident young resident physician at the Bellevue Hospital, where I was completing my formal medical training.

At our first meeting, you were a jewel that twinkled in the dark. You were young, mature, and full of hopes for the future. Your intellect was challenging for a young man. I was convinced that your training and love of children qualified you as a future wife and mother. Your intriguing manner and hope challenged me and I thought that life with you will be most interesting and productive. It was a short and meaningful romance. In six months, we were married and our romance continued to mature.

You were a loving wife and shortly became a mother. Our first year in New Haven came our son Curtis. And then our two years in Geneva, New York with the US Air Force came the arrival of Mira and Dougie. We continued to build our loving relationship. Returning to Sacramento, you were complete stranger in a new city. For you, it was an adjustment you easily made as wife and mother. I was busy with my professional career. I was away from home most of the time, in the evenings and many nights, and you were able to continue to provide a home for our growing family. John and Randy came along, then Jamie, Joe and finally Ted when we decided eight was enough. We always wanted Lorelei, but she never found a way to our home.

You almost single handedly provided for the children's training, encouragement in activities and understanding of proper behavior and music. You nurtured the children so that today, our grandchildren are receiving the same training and discipline which you imparted on your own children. We are blessed with children who are responsible adults, and they are instilling the same values in their children which they learned from you.

Since 1978, after we visited our roots in China, we first realized how fortunate we are to be living in Sacramento. Your interest and concern about China took roots at that time and since then you have devoted yourself to fostering better relationship and understanding between the people of the United States and China. The hours which you have devoted to the US China Peoples Friendship Association and later with the Jinan Sacramento Sister Cities Association have brought you joy and satisfaction. Your China tours program over the last 19 years have provided hundreds of Americans a better understanding between our two countries and a better appreciation of each other. Your most important volunteer activity has been your Beijing Language Institute Program. Started 18 years ago with your desire to learn the Chinese language, you have provided hundred of students, young and old, university undergraduates, graduates, working people, and even older interested individuals, the opportunity of studying Chinese at the prestigious Beijing Language Institute. In your own quiet way, you have contributed to understanding and good will among people of different cultures, something you will not admit. Your advocacy role in this area cannot be denied. It has been an inspiration to me to understand what you have done.

You have been supportive of all my professional and personal activities in the past 45 years. With your help, support and encouragement, our children and I are what we are today, The children have provided us with a great sense of pride and happiness, but only with your guidance are we able to achieve our happiness today. I need you to be with me for the years to come. I love you and wish you the most desired Happy Birthday. I know that you will enjoy all our family and friends who have come tonight to help you celebrate this auspicious day. Your loving husband,