Just when I thought I was done with my travels, I found out last week that my dad was in the hospital with pneumonia. So last weekend, I took a quick trip down to L.A. to visit the family. It was unsettling to see him weak and out of breath. What a relief to watch him perk up when my nephews popped by. Fortunately, he’s doing much better now and is finally back at home resting and recovering.
Being in my hometown brought back some fond memories of my Japanese/Chinese-American heritage. On Saturday night, my sister-in-law’s mom cooked a Chinese New Year dinner at my brother’s house. I delighted in eating one of my favorite childhood treats, almond jello, for dessert. I do miss the days when I would receive those little red envelopes from my grandmother on my dad’s side. We didn’t really celebrate a traditional Chinese New Year, but as a kid, you bet I was willing to say “Gung Hay Fat Choy” in exchange for a bit of pocket money ;).
The next day, after visiting my dad in the hospital, my mom took me to Little Tokyo for lunch. I had a delicious warm bowl of udon. I remember going to J-Town do shows in a performing arts group called Inochi and taking part in the Cherry Blossom Festival. Next time I’m down there, I want to see the Japanese American National Museum since I haven’t been to its newer, larger space.
Being home and spending time with family reconnected me to my roots. For someone who’s typically thinking about the future, it was refreshing to be reminded of where I’ve been and where I came from. How do you reconnect with your history and heritage? What traditions do you honor in your life?