July 18, 2021
Exactly one year ago today, our world changed forever. Our beloved daughter Linda J. Zhang left the world she cared about so deeply. One year, 365 days, every single day was a painful reminder of what we have lost. Every single day we longed to see her smile, to hear her laugh, to talk to her and to hug her. There is nothing more painful than to live without our loved one. This has been the hardest year of our life.
During this year, the outpouring of remembrance of Linda and support from friends, colleagues, neighbors, and people from near and far has given us the strength to move on. With your help, we have channeled our grief and launched the Linda J. Zhang Memorial Foundation to continue her passion to help the environment.
To commemorate the one-year anniversary of her passing, we would like to share a story about Linda going the extra length to avoid using disposable plastics in her daily life. One day in the summer of 2019 when she first arrived in China to begin her gap year, she wanted to enjoy some freshly squeezed fruit juice at a local market. She ordered the drink and quickly gestured to the server to use her own reusable bottle instead of the disposable cup. Apparently, that was the first time the server had heard such a request and did not know how to proceed. Even in such a bit awkward situation, Linda still went on to explain her reason with her not-so-perfect Mandarin and dad’s occasional help in between. At the end, the server understood her and happily agreed to accommodate her request. Linda was happy knowing that she didn’t have to add another disposable plastic cup and straw into the landfill.
Everytime, when we throw away something, it is never true “away”, that is how the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” has been formed. Individual effort seems so trivial and its effectiveness is often in doubt. But collectively we can make a big difference. Any major social changes all start with a small group of people leading the way. With more and more people joining the force, something used to be “abnormal” becomes a trend, then a trend becomes a “norm”.
Through the Linda J. Zhang Foundation’s work, we hope more and more people will join us and be the persons who lead the way. We hope our effort will help to bring a better future for generations to come. We know that Linda is that biggest shining star in the sky and is with us in our hearts and thoughts along the way.
On this day, please keep Linda in your thoughts and if you can, do one thing that will positively impact our planet.