Tuesday, April 9, 2013

TING AND I, Tribute to My Wife, Tina Su Cooper


This book itself is meant as a tribute to Tina. Here, I add a bit more.

I was a New York City Cub Scout and then Boy Scout. We recited “a Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” Tina, herself once a Brownie and then a Girl Scout, meets these criteria, too.

TRUSTWORTHY If Tina says she did it, she did. If she said she will do it, she will. I would trust her with my life, as she has trusted me with hers. To me, a man who has been deceived many, many times on important matters, this is crucial.

LOYAL She did her best in a difficult marriage between a Chinese man and an American girl of Chinese ancestry. She has always been on my side during our marriage, her loyalty never in doubt.

HELPFUL When Tina could, she did. Those who knew her would have to keep her from helping more.

FRIENDLY Quiet, with a lovely smile, and an easy laugh, she makes and keeps friends readily.

COURTEOUS A genuine lady, without airs.

KIND Never seeking to harm, always wanting to console.

OBEDIENT Here we have a little difficulty. She obeyed her parents’ wish that she marry a Chinese man. She obeyed that husband for years and years. I did not want, did not ask for, did not need obedience, though our frequent agreement was a blessing.

CHEERFUL Mostly, and almost always when I am with her.

THRIFTY “Waste not, want not.” With only one exception that I can recall did we disagree on a significant expenditure. I ascribed that to MS, which was likely the cause.

BRAVE Perseverance in the face of known or uncertain obstacles. My family had a cat we called “C.P.” for “courageous persistence. Undaunted. Tina’s approach was no less.

CLEAN Almost fastidious, but not excessive.

REVERENT “Why has God allowed this to happen to me?” has given way to thankfulness for what she has, rather than regret for what she has lost, and together we have regained our faith.

Let me add, STRONG. An exceptional inner strength. She does not give up, does not give in to the “monster that has seized” her (MS). The word “coolie,” once applied to Chinese laborers, comes from the words in Chinese, ku li, for “bitter strength.” Tina is strong, but not bitter.

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