The Woman Who Never Sleeps

by Randy Fong

She wasn't your ordinary mom. The house was always cluttered with bronze antiques and string instruments of varying shapes and sizes. She never baked us cookies, her cooking was just edible. She never helped us with homework, and there was no little league or boy scouts. Instead childhood early years were filled with violin lessons, the Sacramento Symphony, weekends at the Crocker Art Gallery, and the occasional opera. Always the strict disciplinarian she was a constant stream of advice. No soda. No TV. Drink water. Practice your violin. Clean your room. Don't eat salty food. Don't eat sweet food. Candy will rot your teeth. Listen to classical music. Only on a subconscious level did any of us kids actually listen. Nonetheless, its repetitiveness has been permanently imprinted onto our brains.

But it is the advice she didn't give that proved most everlasting. Never were we forced to "Go to College," "Be a Doctor or Lawyer" or "Get Married." Instead, her hands- off policy meant her children had to make their own life decisions.

"Always the strict disciplinarian she was a constant stream of advice. No soda. No TV."

But raising eight kaidoy kids is just part of who she is. Proud of her humble, barefoot Hawaiian upbringing, she is smarter than she lets on to be. With seventy years of life achievement under her belt, she is well informed, forward thinking, staunchly liberal, technologically unabashed, filled with opinion, and ready to take on the new millennium. Today, her life mission focuses on improving US-China relations primarily through her involvement with the US-China Peoples Friendship Association and Jinan Sister City. Demonstrated by her work and travels, she is a woman who keenly understands the interchangeability of words such as "Globalization" and "Americanization." She gives freely of her time, energy, and resources, to promote a brand of friendship and peace that knows no geopolitical boundaries, one that flourishes in spite of cultural differences.

Seventy years of lifetime achievement has seen her transform herself time and time again. The little Hawaiian girl of the thirties and forties went to college, got married and became the supermom of the fifties, sixties, and seventies. In the eighties and nineties she became an advocate of US-China relations as well as a grandmother fifteen times over. The woman never sleeps as she continues her lifelong dedication to both work and family. There simply is no stopping her as she marches onward into the 21st century.