Lillian Kao


As Interviewed by Belinda Lin, March 22
"It's better to run and live in a free country than live in a Communist country."
Lillian Kao

Introductory Profile: About Lillian Kao

This is one of the many tales and stories of Lillian Kao, who was born in China at the tail-end of the second World War, the dragons in between Nationalism and Communism starting to spit fire once again. She holds the role of my grandmother, and is one of the most important people to me in the world. Lillian was an immigrant from China to Taiwan that came to America many years ago, when my uncle was only my age, or near it. She seems like a delicate women, but through time that I have spent at her, I can feel the aura of a strong, stubborn warrior. She lives in a big white house in Houston, where, despite its size, it never felt too big; the smiles and the warmth made us feel so close, and the house has always been filled with laughter and comfort.
Lillian is a skinny Chinese woman with fluffy black hair. For the longest time in my childhood, I always thought she had some strange kind of magic; her hair was still black, contrary to the other adults of her age, because I was unaware of hair dye. Her eyes also always had this energetic spark in them, especially when she laughed; I always loved her laugh, that came out in a delighted staccato voice. The house was always filled with delicious smells when we stepped into the house to visit her; she’s debatably the best cook in our family.
As my life passed by, and I heard bits of history from all over the place, especially China, as we are Chinese, and from the realization of the time period my grandmother lived in, and the fact that my father had been born in Taiwan rather than China . . . The pieces of the puzzle eventually clicked into place. Something we all come to realize is that the adults in our life were once babies, children, teenagers, and young adults. The hardships and challenges of escaping China’s communism and having to leave everything she had known . . . That will be expressed in an interview for school. The simplicity but meaningfulness of this interview will forever be in my mind, and will forever be in her memories.