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Hsiu-Ying Fang Kuo is my grandmother's name. She is my father's mother and I am used to calling her "A-ma," which means grandmother in Taiwanese. My grandmother was born on September 7, 1960 in Miaoli, Taiwan. I had been living with her for five years, so I knew that she is a kind, hard-working, and hardy woman. For example, she used to help her siblings to take care of their grandchildren, but she did not ask them to pay for her. Also, she is like a super woman because I never saw her stop working or doing housework even when she was sick. Therefore, I undoubtedly respect my grandmother's attitude. In fact, I was not a diligent student when I was in junior high school. However, I heard from my grandmother that she could not have chance to study when she was little, so she hoped I can study at one of the top universities and become a person who can contribute to society. I started to study hard and achieved every goal that I set. It also became a motivation for me to study abroad because I thought that I could get better education to come true my grandmother's dream.
When grandmother was a child, her family was very poor. Everyday the meal was either a slice of sweet potato or a bowl of rice porridge. Sometimes, she ate a piece of dried fish with crude salt and a cup of vermicelli soup. Also, her clothes were made of sacks, and she did not have shoes to wear. The most unforgettable and unhappy memory for grandmother was her classmates teased her when she was in elementary school because she did not have enough money to pay for tuition. She did not feel frustrated even though her classmates laughed at her. She still studied hard and earned reward from school. Actually, grandmother wanted to get higher education, but her family could not afford her to study in junior high school. Thus, it made her value school more than other people and study also became her dream.
Grandmother began to work on her father's farm after she graduated from the elementary school. She did not have too much time to play with other children because she should work on the farm. Therefore, she usually had fun when she worked on the farm. One time, when she worked on the farm, she stepped on something looked like mud, and it was a little bit warm. She did not care too much until she found out that her feet had stinky smell. Grandmother laughed and told me that the mud was chicken's feces. She said that chicken's excrement is stinkier than other poultry's excrement. It was one of the funny reminiscence that she had in her childhood. Grandmother said that she fell into the mud almost everyday, so she usually looked like muddy. Perhaps, it could be one of the reason that boy did not like her when she was a young girl.
Grandmother got married when she was twenty-one years old and she gave birth to two children before she was twenty-five years old. Although, she knew that she could not give her children a good study place, she still encouraged them to study hard. My grandmother cried when she knew my father got the good grade on his class. She also bought a bicycle for my father at that time. She loves child so much, but she never spoiled them. After grandfather passed away, she started her babysitter job. She used to help her sibling and grandfather's sibling to take care of their grandchildren. However, she did not ask them to pay for her because be a babysitter just her hobby. As I knew, she had been babysat for more than five children, and all children had a happy time when they got along with my grandmother.
Grandmother had also babysat me when I was a baby, and it was a fun experience that she had. She remembered that I never cried more than three times per day when I was an infant. I usually slept whole day and did not like to eat. In fact, grandmother thought I was a very strange baby. Grandmother was proud about I knew how to use chopsticks when I was one years old. I still did not like to eat even though I could use chopsticks very well. Grandmother had told me another unusual thing that I did. When I was two years old, she rescued a Chihuahua and raised him on the backyard. One day, she saw I was talking to the Chihuahua after I broke my ankle. By the time I finished talking, the Chihuahua started barking for whole day. Nobody knew what happened to this dog. I told grandmother that I just said lots of cuss words to him but I did not know what happened either. Three days later, the Chihuahua ran away and never came back. However, I did not know this story until grandmother told me today.
All in all, grandmother is the best life teacher that I have. She taught me lots of life experiences, such as how to be patient from being a babysitter or how to distinguish the poultry's excrement. Although those experiences are not very important, I still gained some life knowledge from her. I also learned optimistic and perseverant from my grandmother. She is a terminal leukemia patient, but she did not give up her life easily. Even though she is suffering from the illness, she still keeps positive mind and be happy everyday. In fact, I knew that this cancer is very hard to cure and recover. Therefore, when I saw my grandmother still smile to me, I was so happy. Otherwise, due to grandmother's cancer, I went to hospital with her a lot of times. It made me want to major to nursing to help people. However, I could not study nursing in the United States because I am not an American citizen. Grandmother encouraged me to study business because she thought that if I become a rich people in the future, I still can use my money to help people or donate some charities. Moreover, grandmother was the person who gave me the motivation to study abroad. When I was afraid that I cannot overcome some obstacles in America, she constantly encouraged me at that time. Also, she convinced me to get better education to come true her childhood's dream. It made me feel more confidence to study in the foreign country. This is the reason why grandmother was the biggest motivation for me to study in the United States.