When war broke out in China, Sanie’s grandparents were forced to flee the province of Hunan. Gong Gong, as Sanie was to have called her mother’s father, came from a well-to-do family. Po Po had worked at a bank—a rare accomplishment for a woman back then and a sign of good education. They would not be able to carry their wealth with them as they ran, and so they buried their gold in hopes of recovering it one day when they could safely return home. They also bid goodbye to the other members of their families, assuring each other they would be reunited in the future. They died without ever setting foot in China again.