As soon as I said it, I realized that I had made my promise to them—to everyone in my family—long ago.
I had promised during the days that Grandma and I had hidden in the park; I had promised when I had not testified against Dad; I had promised when I had hidden the letter.
Once my life had been defined by my goals: to be a da-dui-zhang, to participate in the exhibition, to be a Red Guard.
They seemed unimportant to me now. Now my life was defined by my responsibilities. I had promised to take care of my family, and I would renew that promise every day. I could not give up or withdraw, no matter how hard life became. I would hide my tears and my fear for Mom and Grandma’s sake. It was my turn to take care of them.