Look at this face. Do you see my foolish hope?
It is because I had so much joy that I came to have so much hate.
Then you must teach my daughter this same lesson. How to lose your innocence but not your hope. How to laugh forever.
I remember wondering why it was that eating something good could make me feel so terrible, while vomiting something terrible could make me feel so good.
I began to look at all events and all things as relevant, an opportunity to take or avoid.
I had new thoughts, willful thoughts, or rather thoughts filled with lots of won’ts. I won’t let her change me, I promised myself. I won’t be what I’m not.
My mother had a look on her face that I’ll never forget. It was one of complete despair and horror, for losing Bing, for being so foolish as to think she could use faith to change fate.
I discovered that maybe it was fate all along, that faith was just an illusion that somehow you’re in control.
I was no longer scared. I could see what was inside me.
Over the years, she told me the same story, except for the ending, which grew darker, casting long shadows into her life, and eventually into mine.
My father has asked me to be the fourth corner at the Joy Luck Club. I am to replace my mother, whose seat at the mah jong table has been empty since she died two months ago. My father thinks she was killed by her own thoughts.
Everyone must dream. We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming — well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate. Isn’t that true?
Whenever I’m with my mother, I feel as though I have to spend the whole time avoiding land mines.