Family, friends, coworkers, and students attended her service.
She must have enjoyed the turnout that overflowed the church. A reception followed
where people ate, drank, regarded pictures that adorned every wall, and remembered...
It was a day of remembrance, so much to recall about a life well lived.
day began with readings of famous Chinese poetry by Li Po.
Parting Beyond Thorn-Gate Mountain Li Po |
way beyond Thorn-gate mountain
traveled with you into the land of Ch'u:
is where the moorland mountains end
the streams flow on into the great plain.
under the moon,
mirror that sails the skies,
under the swelling clouds that weave sea-palaces,
bid you goodbye: a thousand miles you sail away
the river that carries you to your old home.
Leave Li Po |
hills rearing over the north wall;
water swirling to the east of the city:
is where you must leave me -
lone puff of thistledown
a thousand-mile journey.
the drifting clouds
the thoughts of a wanderer!
emotions of old friends.
wave of the hand now
you are gone.
|Song of Ch'ing-P'ing
Li Po |
the clouds we remember her garments
the flowers see her face;
spring wind sweeps the balustrade,
of dew lie thick.
you find her not on the mountain of Many Jewels,
will meet her by moonlight
the Palace of Jasper.
main passions were: spending time with family, working, playing contract bridge,
was her favorite place? She enjoyed viewing Egypt's pyramids, exploring an Incan
city, or shopping in London and Paris, yet she would say watching wildlife in
Africa topped the list.
last trip as a family carried us to Romania to visit Ed at his Peace Corps assignment.
last picture together, at home for Christmas, 2002.
was born in Kwei Chow during the war between China and Japan. The family lived
in Nanking after the war ended. Her father was an important official there, but
things changed when the communists ascended to power. The family fled to Hong
Kong in 1949. Lichun attended school there for a short time, then everyone moved
to Taiwan. She graduated from Tai Da, the #1 national university, with a major
in agricultural chemistry. She decided on a graduate degree and was accepted at
Vanderbilt University. In 1962 she took a slow boat from China to L.A. There she
boarded a bus to ride across country to Nashville, TN. She read English okay because
she studied it for years in Taiwan, but she didn't speak it well at that time.
At bus stops she would see what other passengers ate and tried to order the same.
When she ordered a hamburger, she bit into it and discovered to her horror that
it was food that dripped with blood! This was not like familiar Chinese style
food. She eventually grew to like hamburgers [well done].|
studied hard at Vanderbilt and graduated with a Masters degree in Biochemistry.
Her study technique included cross- examining teachers after class on points she
needed to clarify from reading. She always felt that questions were a fine way
to learn and never gave up this technique. In 1964, after Nashville, Lichun took
a lab technician job with Dr. Morris Cynkin in the biochemistry department at
Tufts Medical School. Dr. Alton Meister was the chairman. She soon realized that
she would be doing the same work if she were a Ph.D. candidate, and was accepted
to the doctoral program. We met in biochemistry class, which mixed beginning medical
and doctoral students. She got an A while I got a passing grade. |
dated and got married at the end of the 3rd year of our studies. We both graduated
in 1968 after living in subsidized housing in our 4th year. Lichun had a good
job offer in Philadelphia in 1969 to work in the Smith Kline French labs, but
had to turn it down when we moved to accommodate my service assignment in the
Navy in California. Wes was born in CA, where Lichun worked at Fresno State teaching
medical lab techniques. The FBI offered her a lab director job, but she had to
turn that down when I went to residency training in Sacramento. Ed was born during
our trip to China in 1973 in my last year of residency. The trip was part of training
as a study of Chinese medical education and psychiatric practice.|
was the interpreter, traveler, and mother. We moved to Maryland where I had a
fellowship in Washington, D.C. We were not here more than a week when Dr. Clara
Adams called Lichun from Morgan State. Lichun had sent resumes around in her usual
thorough way of preparation and foresight. A teacher had suddenly taken a position
elsewhere, and Dr. Adams was glad to find a qualified applicant in Lichun when
they met for the interview. She began immediately, starting 28 years of service
in the Morgan Chemistry Department. For the first two years, Lichun commuted from
Temple Hills, MD to Baltimore while I finished my fellowship in D.C. Afterwards,
it was my turn to find a job in Baltimore because Lichun was firmly established
in her career, liked teaching, and she had already given up three good jobs to
accommodate me. Besides, we both like Baltimore. How she managed to keep house,
start a new career, commute, raise two small kids and juggle all those things
shows how well she could organize time. At least the commuting was no problem
after we moved to Towson. The rest she did wonderfully up until the last week
of her life, when she taught two classes and had an impromptu retirement party.
Lichun was cramming as much activity and responsibility into each day until the
very end. We miss her every day and will never forget her courage during her illness,
and how she showed her love by exerting her energy for family, friends, students
and colleagues. |
son, Wes -|
stand out when I think of my mother: loving, a peacemaker, and generous in everything
except when playing bridge. Where will our conversations be without a funny remark
from Mom? She always wanted grandchildren. When we moved into our town home in
Maryland, she pressed for grandkids as the next step from owning a new home. I
answered, 'you'll have grandkids in due time, Mom,' and then I added, 'so long
as my plumbing works.' She replied, 'Your house is new so that should be under
loved traveling. She wanted to be a 'true' backpacker. She wanted to experience
how Jill and I traveled; she wanted to live rough and I think getting by on 10
bucks a day appealed to her sense of thriftiness. I don't think she fully grasped
the backpacker concept, though, because while Dad carried the backpacks she daintily
pulled a piece of hand luggage. Jill and I dragged our parents all over Eastern
Europe. We rode crowded public buses and third class trains, walked instead of
hiring taxis, lost our way in twisting alleyways, and always negotiated for the
cheapest accommodation. At its low point we arrived in the Bulgarian capital at
3 AM without any idea where to stay. The city was dark. We walked into a youth
hostel, no receptionist, just young travelers sleeping on the floor, cheek to
cheek. After hesitating, she adapted quickly and plopped herself down and went
to sleep. Jill and I were mortified; we thought the conditions were a little too
rough for her yet she never complained about it and actually enjoyed traveling
like a person 1/3 of her age. So if we were watching elephants in Africa or parading
down a cobblestone street in Europe, she was always the last to call it quits.
She wanted her last penny's worth and I think she would jump in an icy pool, midwinter,
even though she couldn't swim, if she thought it was part of the program. She
retired a few days before she died and she kept her work schedule current."
one could foresee how quickly the end would come. When my parents sent word that
Mom was deteriorating rapidly, we were on the other side of the world, in India.
I called her before boarding the plane home. She could barely speak and she spoke
her last words to me. She said, "I'm very sick. I'm trying to hold on until you
come home." From the airport it took over a day to return. I entered our home
without knowing if she was still alive inside. She couldn't see or speak but she
moaned when she heard my voice. I thanked her for holding on; this was her last
gift to me. So much suffering she had borne to survive. Hard tumors covered her
body. I held her hand, stroked her hair and face, and talked to her. Sometimes
she reacted to my words. She was gasping and she must have felt such pain. For
one hour we sat together. She started to make noises again as if she was trying
to say something. I pressed my head to her cheek. I said, "I know. I understand.
We'll be with you again. Relax. Let go." She stopped struggling and her breathing
became slow. Ten minutes later she stopped breathing."
her life she showed uncompromising, devoted, pure, love. She created this love
and gave it to me. Her grandchildren will receive it from me."
daughter-in-law, Jill - |
taught us how to live life. She possessed everlasting energy and was always ready
for adventure. Her most adventurous trip took place in Africa. She never worried
about getting malaria, falling prey to a lion, or getting trampled by an elephant.
We had our close calls. Once before dawn we were surprised by a 2000 lb Cape buffalo
which we thought was a bush. The buffalo didn't appreciate being woken up at that
early hour. Another time we almost stepped on a hippo that we didn't see lying
in a mud pool. Mom sprained her ankle on one of these walks but she refused to
let it slow her down."
passed on her best qualities to her children: energy, ambition, and determination
not to miss out on what life has to offer. And don't think for a minute she hasn't
taken a lot of credit for this. She would be the first one to identify a good
characteristic in her sons and take full credit for it. She was a proud mom. One
day I hope to see these qualities in my children. I will see their energy and
desire to experience everything. This will give me a big smile to think of mom
saying - 'They get that from me'." |
31:25-29 NIV She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at
the days to come. She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." |