Friday, June 8, 2018

Rose Jue's Grave site

After locating Jue Joe's grave site, my Auntie Soo Yin also visited Rosemary Jue's grave site at Rosedale cemetery. Rose was the first wife of San Tong Jue and the mother of my late father, Jack  and my auntie Joan.

Here  are my Auntie Soo Yin's photos of the grave site and the headstone. Rosemary's headstone is the fourth large upright headstone to the right of the tree.

Here is a picture of Rose with my father when he was a baby.

Here is a picture of  her two children Jack and Joan.
Here is a picture of my Grandfather San Tong, Rose and my father.
Here is a closeup of her dressed up for a costume party.
Here is the last photo she took of her children , Jack and Joan , before she tragically died at the very young age of 27  from post operative complications after surgery.

I am very sorry I never met my grandmother.

We sometimes forget she was a thoroughly modern young Chinese American woman born and raised in the United States. Here is an excerpt of her letter to San Tong who was farming with his father in the Imperial valley  while she was pregnant with my dad who she calls "Ah Yit"

Los Angeles, Nov 25, '27

Dearest Husband,
Am writing a few lines to know how you are getting along . Are you working hard, and do you miss me very much? I sure miss you , Honey Boy!! We thought perhaps you were coming back for Thanksgiving Day . Sam phoned the nite before saying that he would bring a turkey and a couple of chickens out the following day. So we did have Turkey, dressing , potatoes, chicken, Birds nest soup and Roast pork. It was good ! Oh, how I wished you were here to eat it with us !! It didn't taste near as good as it would have if you were with us too.!

Gee, I'd like to bring you folks some Turkey, cause I'd know you'd like it! But just think of the distance, 150 miles to go and 150 miles back. I'd like to take the train but the distance I'd have to walk !!! Oh Baby! when are you coming back to " Ah Yit" and me ? You've been gone five whole days already!! Sometimes I get so lonesome I cry.

I went up town and got myself a hat. I hope you like it . I got it down at Bullock's . I got Ma a hat for her birthday. I told her " I'm going to spend $5 on you anyway ,so you might as well choose what you  like, before I buy something you don't care for !! So she chose a hat. I bought Dad a wool shirt for $4.  I brought the clock to fix and they're going to charge me $1.50 for fixing it . I'm going to buy $5 of yarn to knit a blanket. After I buy that , I'll sure be broke!
Isn't it funny how fast money goes?

Mother wants to know how Father is and if he is any better. Please give him my regards.
Mother hasn't been so well either, backache, headache , heartache and etc. I told her to let me bring her to the doctors' but she says the doctor doesn't do much good anyway. Sometimes she's alright but at other times she doesn't feel good at all. Just like me! Sometimes I'm alright but gee, sometimes my back hurts me terrible, also my tummy feels so heavy. I guess it's " Ah Yit". Gee! I'd be glad if I was all through with him !! Wouldn't that be nice? Close now and please write soon ! How much longer are you going to stay , Honey? Here are all my love and kisses.
Your darling wife,

My late Auntie Joan created this beautiful tribute to her mother , Rose . 

My cousin Bob wrote a moving poem about Rose that I will include below:

Coming to This Life-after reading letters from my grandmother, Rose Evelyn Chung (1908-1935)

I dreamed that you lived 'til now.

In my garden, I see you
thumbing dark soil into your palm,
the sandiness of your life transforming
......into this shared dream of nasturtiums, and
......hollyhocks,and delphinium; a garden

bright with dreams you deferred to your daughter,
......and she to me,
..............and me to my daughter.

In your time , you smelled a breeze
.......just like this,
tasted the fruit of dates from Indio and hungered
for sugar cane as sweet as these. And yet,

how strange it is to be alive.
beneath this elm. Purple finches chattering above
like school children-like my children -who in
their love for books

can only glimpse the lives to come.

But we have come to our lives-mine,
a single history in an archipelago of poems;

an archive of letters to your husband, bringing
back to you .........and you...

to us.

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