As the crystal ball lowers in Times Square, NYC, for the year 2020, I crossed the threshold of turning 88 years of age and am one step closer to Heaven. The setting sun is infinitely pleasing but its fleeting beauty is confined to the short hours of dusk. I have been fortunate to live to this age. After living through the Japanese invasion of WWII in my early years and then the chaos of civil war between the Nationalist (Kuomintang) and the Communist Party, I was trained at different stages to obtain different levels of cultivation. Now, while still have my faculties, I wish to record all those memories and my life experiences. It is a commemoration to my parents and also to the teachers and the friends who have influenced me.
Another purpose of writing the memoirs is to dedicate my life experience to both older and younger readers. Some seniors may still remember the hardships of scarcity, the joys and sorrows, the destruction of their homes, and the sacrifice of infinite lives in exchange for the survival of their country and as building blocks for today's democracy and freedom, all brought on by the devastating war against Japanese. Many plots may be similar to what readers have experienced or may resonate with them both emotionally and spiritually.
Born in a time of turmoil, I experienced a tortuous and extraordinary life. It took a strong will to overcome all the struggling. I judge myself that my personal talents can only be considered as better than normal, but when it comes to hard work, I can proudly say that I can be considered as superior. The only reason is because I never fall behind. There are unpredictable situations in life. You must use your strong confidence and indomitable spirit to face the challenges and achieve your purpose. Creating extraordinary things in ordinary life and doing something meaningful can make life valuable. Looking back on my life, I have spun the bumps of awkward life and done everything I could to learn and work. Luckily not all my efforts were wasted. Since my childhood, my parents had set a good example of love, simplicity, diligence and self-improvement, which has benefited me for life. When I was in Taiwan before coming to the United States for further studies, my mother gave me a short poem “ The harder you work, the greater you can be.” I always remember her advice. Now in my old age, I have done everything I could in my life according to the way she taught me. I hope she is smiling up in heaven.
Photography has been my favorite for many years. Since those photos are very old, It is very hard for me to memorize when and where they were taken. However, they reduce my writing time and help readers to view what I have done, killing two birds with one stone.
Alice Ya-li Hsia (1931— present)
Born in an era of war, I cherish my life to my parents and I have had excellent teachers, classmates, friends throughout my whole life, who have given me wisdom and confidence so that I may continue to learn and grow.
I graduated from the Department of Economics of National Taiwan University in 1954 and came to the United States for advance studies in 1955. In 1956, I served as Secretary to the Consulate General of the Republic of China in New York. I married Dr. Wellington Hsia in 1957. I thank him for giving me a stable life and constantly creating a happy environment for my family and friends. A special thank to my grandfather Siho Chang who and Youren Yu were the first classmates of Fudan University. He once founded a hospital, a newspaper and a transportation company in his hometown of Jiangyin. His lifetime of enthusiasm for public welfare has inspired me to make a small contribution to our society.