Monday, February 8, 2010

The Song of Ting Ming Hui, with Preface (Part II)

Preface, Part II

In their nine years of separation, Hing Yu returned to China only once, merely for a short visit. During their temporary union, Ming Hui came to be with-child, a third daughter. Overseas communication was difficult; it took months for a letter to reach its recipient. Driven once more by her will, Ming Hui left China to search for her husband. Money was scarce and she was only able to gather enough for herself and her youngest daughter, who was already seven. She was forced to leave her two older daughters behind in Fujian.

After a couple months journey, on foot and on water, Ming Hui finally arrived on the island of Java, Indonesia. At her husband’s door steps, she saw sandals -- feminine and others that can only fit children's feet. Only then Hing Yu told her that he was living with another woman and he already had two sons by her.

For the next few decades, the two women lived under the same roof. Ming Hui, though claimed the status of the principle wife, had five more daughters, eight daughters all together, no son. The second wife had five sons and two daughters, and made sure she received recognition for her position.

With her mind for business and skills in accounting, Ming Hui managed the household and her husband’s business. She accompanied him on all his business trips and served as the “public wife” of Lim Hing Yu. When he died, she lived for another 15 years, visiting her daughters living all over the world.

Part I
Part III

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