Xiaoyu K. // KANG

My grandfather passed away peacefully, just like his last name, Kang; in Chinese it means tranquility and peacefulness. Kang is a family name, and its literal definition does match my whole family. My grandfather had a peaceful personality, a peaceful appearance, but, however, he had a terribly unpeaceful health condition, which is ironic because another definition of Kang is healthy.

My grandfather suffered from gastrorrhagia and Parkinson’s diseases most of his life. And some of his stomach problems passed onto my father, and then onto me. He did not have a religion; he treated dietary supplements and medicines as his religion. He believed that there is nothing that medicines cannot do, as most people believe in God. So my family name, Kang, always reminds me of the smell of hospital, which then recalls one of the greatest fear of most kids. The place that always shows up in horror movies. The place of sadness.

But despite all these, it is my name. It is the name of the people that share the same blood as me. It is the name that made who we are, who I am. It is what distinguishes me from the others and it is what made me, me.