In Loving Memory of Ingrid Gwat Lie Tie Goei (1933-2024)

[Baca dalam bahasa Indonesia.]

I am writing to honor the memory of my mom for myself and her many family and friends scattered around the world. I am grateful that my mom shared stories with me about her life and some of the turbulent times she lived through. I am also honoring the memory of my father. They were married for 59 years until my father passed away in 2019.

My mom had a remarkable life and lived to the age of 90. She was a loving mother to her two kids and a devoted wife to my father, Khing Kwie GOEI. I’m writing my mom’s name as Ingrid Gwat Lie Tie GOEI. My mom’s first and middle names are Gwat Lie. Her surname is TIE or 池. My father’s surname is GOEI or 魏. These are Dutch romanizations of Hokkien Chinese names. Hokkien is a Chinese dialect/language which in Mandarin pinyin romanization is Fujian. She also uses the name Ingrid.

My parents lived through the Dutch colonial period, World War II, Japanese occupation, Indonesian Independence, Gerakan 30 September, and the 1965 killings, before moving to the US. My grandparents and great-grandparents were born in Java and are descendants of Hokkien Chinese who migrated to Java in the mid-1800s. Due to ethnic discrimination and riots in the 1960s, my parents, like other Chinese Indonesians who could, chose to leave the country.

My parents both spoke at least four languages: Javanese, Dutch, Indonesian, and English. Unfortunately, I am only fluent in English. I use a computer to help me translate Indonesian, which is not always quite right. If you notice mistakes, please let me know.

Because my parents were both physicians, the US prioritized their immigration application. They met in medical school in Surabaya, Indonesia, where my sister and I were born. They chose to settle in San Antonio, the city where I grew up. My father was able to find a job there as a medical intern. They also knew another Indonesian family who settled in the same city.

I was five years old when I landed in San Antonio. I began learning English in school, and I remember having a hard time fitting in. During my childhood, my mom became a board-certified radiologist. My father worked for a state mental hospital before starting his own practice in a lower-income neighborhood. I remember my dad was a hard worker. He used to work seven days a week but took a half day off on Sunday. Later in my teens, my mom chose to become a housewife and care for her family and kids.

I enjoyed my mom’s cooking. It was a mix of Chinese Indonesian and Dutch food. It required special ingredients from Asian grocery stores. She also grew her own jeruk purut leaves and chili peppers. Some of my favorite dishes are her rawon, bakmi, and tahu telur.

My mom had an excellent memory. I would ask her about specific events, and she knew the years, dates, and the people involved. Having hundreds of extended relatives, mostly in Indonesia and Holland, she was able to tell me who was related to whom and how. I remember she was great at spelling, not just in English, but also words in Dutch and Indonesian.

My mom and dad both enjoyed dancing and took classes in ballroom, swing, Latin, and line dancing. They had a group of friends in San Antonio they regularly danced with. Dancing is an activity I also enjoy. In 2011, I took my parents to Sundance Saloon, my main dance community. I’m glad my husband, Jeff, decided to take a video of my parents and me dancing that night.

My mom was a devoted wife. She took care of my father, who unfortunately had dementia in the later years of his life. They lived in my childhood home in San Antonio. She cared for my dad until she was no longer able to. We supported my parents in moving to a place where they could get the support they deserved. Eventually, my mom and dad decided to move to a retirement community near my sister’s family in the Portland metro area in Oregon.

At some point, my father needed a higher level of care. He moved into a nearby group home before he passed in 2019. My mother continued to live in independent living until she required more care after her stroke last year.

Before Mom passed, she lived in a group home where she was able to receive the level of care she needed. On Monday, May 20, after fainting in her recliner, staff called an ambulance to take her to Kaiser Sunnyside Emergency Room. After her initial treatment, she was awake and lucid again, but later that day, her condition unexpectedly declined. My sister and her husband, Mark, were with her when she passed.

My mother is survived by many people who have known her love and kindness. Among them are her daughter, Monica, and son-in-law, Mark, and her three grandchildren, Sarah, Rachel, and Aaron. I am her son and oldest child, Edwin, who is married to her son-in-law, Jeff, in San Francisco. Mom has a younger sister, Amy, and brother-in-law, Pieter, and two nieces, Cynthia and Sabine, both of whom have families of their own in Holland. In addition, she has many relatives and friends in the US, Indonesia, Holland, and other countries who have shared their condolences.


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