Fifteen Year’s Worth of Physical Therapy, His Paralyzed Legs Can Walk with Support, and He Began to Feel Happier

A story of hope and inspiration, translated…

During his schooling career, his dad accompanied him to school every single day, Wu overcame his own physical handicaps, faced his handicapped with bravery, his story was put into the book, “Flying with Dreams”, he said, “After I’d read, I wanted to cry”.

The first-year student from Jingshan High School, Wu, faced his own physical handicap with bravery, and worked hard in rehabilitation, and finally, he could go up and down the stairs by himself this year, during the time he is in school, his father accompanied him to and from, and, his father was nicknamed, Number 23 of Class 302”, his story was written in the series of new books published by the city government, “Flying with Dreams”, Wu said, “I wanted to cry as I read through it”.

The fifteen-year-old Wu has a smiling face, when his mother was pregnant with him, Wu was wrapped up by his umbilical cord, his legs became bad, the doctor even announced, that “he may not survive”, after fifteen years of never-ending rehabilitations, from relying on his parents, his maternal grandfather, carrying him up and down the stairs, to now, he can “move about freely” with a cane, this, was the result of the hard work of the entire family.

When he was younger and wheelchair bound, he’d asked his parents sadly, “Why are my legs like that?”, his father told him, “You’re beyond lucky, that the umbilical cord wasn’t wrapped around your neck, just your legs, you can still grow up healthy, and be a member of our family”.

The father was nicknamed as “Super Brother” by his classmate, would take his son to and from school, and, every time there’s a field trip at school, he’d also taken time off from work to accompany his son, and, he’d become another “older man” away from the classroom instructor in the class, and, in the three years of his son’s middle school career, he’d become buddies with his son’s classmates, and was given a seating number too.

“He is a great kid, and a pair of great parents,”, the middle school department teacher, Fang from the Jingshan High School said, every afternoon when the class go to the track to exercise, Cheng-Long doesn’t get couped up in the classroom, he’d walked around the field with his cane in hand, to try to engage in the outdoor classes too.

The classmate wrote out, “He’s a legend, a sunny, warm blooded boy who grew up in adverse conditions, he’s a good book, his story is waiting for you, to savor”, as the subtitles.

Wu said, “Facing up to the sun, the shadows are behind you”, is his story, in the company of his family, he could live his life bravely, and see the world in passionate views, and was very surprised that the stories of his life was included in the book, “Flying with Dreams”.

So, despite his handicap, he was able to overcome his hardships and rise up from above, of course, his father played an important role in the son’s development into a well-rounded young man too.

 

 

Mina & Her Girlfriends on the Magic Carpets

The United Nation of Friendships here, translated…

In the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, the wind howled, the seamstresses groomed through the sheep’s wools, the yarns wrapped around and around, the swift fingers made them into ropes and things, and slowly, the Berber natives made the pictures of their celebratory totems.  And from it, you’d see that they had the wishes of sailing afar, and you’d also see how the vegetations are blooming, the Moroccan women turned the carpet into canvases to paint their beautiful pictures onto.

A Community of Women

“Every carpet looks so pretty!”, we couldn’t help but be in awe.

Mina owned and operated a community of carpet weavers for women in the countryside.  The ladies would use the wools from healthy sheep, and all natural dyes, from saffron, to walnut shells, and figs, the magicians usually made an assortment of visual arts using just their hands, simple tools, and, they’re able to weave up a magic carpet you’d only heard about in the stories.

“In this place, women are the ones who worked to provide for the families,” Mina told us.

“What about the men?”, we couldn’t help but feel curious.

“Our husbands are all sleeping, drinking coffees, and waiting, to sell these carpets we wove.”, as Mina spoke, she’d lifted her right foot onto her left leg, and actively portrayed how the men sat leisurely in the afternoons.

In the northern African Islamic regions, the carpets are the most popular items, it’s not only a symbol of status and also a magical item that can change the space and time you’re in.  even though, the prices at the markets are high, but, these items sold for even more secondhand, but Mina said, the ladi8es couldn’t take the carpets to the marketplaces, and their husbands don’t work, and so, they could only allow the middlemen to strip them, and so, Mina and her girlfriends decided to open and operate a community shop run and owned by women.

“Are all the husbands asleep?”, I inquired with curiosity.  Without thinking, Mina said “oui” three times nodding her head.  It’s incredible, but, all the men who’d accompanied us there, the keeper of the village, along with the rest of the males, were without any rebuttals, as if this, had been the norm all along.

“What if you were abused?”, we’d charaded to the ladies, asking how the interactions between the genders were in this area of the world.

But, Mina looked surprised, opened up her eyes wide, and modeled after us, two slaps, and then, she fell onto the couch, laughing hard.  After she’d calmed back down, she’d spoken, “Here, women have NO rights to hit men.”  Even if life didn’t go their ways, there’s nothing that the women can do.

Then, are women happy, can they divorce?  Mina answered in a calmer tone, rarely, only in the bigger cities.  Then, she’d changed the topics sharply, “but my mom did, she’s a rare case, she’d been married three times.”, right at the moment, everybody was hollering, and, everyone was about to give Mina a round of applause!

Riding on the Magic Carpet and Traveling Afar

Morocco is a monogamous society, but women may not have the right to choose who they marry, and, in “special” conditions, men are allowed to take multiple wives.  In Mina’s mom’s first marriage, she had four kids, and because there’s this lax of medical aid in the country, all her kids had died, and her mother-in-law believed that “this woman is USELESS!” decided to “get rid of” her.  The second marriage was to Mina’s father, and, they lived in the desolate regions high up in the mountains, Mina’s mom suggested that they move into the city to find work, and the family was strongly against this, and denied her the rights.  And so, she’d divorced, once more.

Until she met Mina’s stepdad, her current husband, her life is finally happy and ordinary.

I asked Mina, “What about you?  What if your husband angered you?”

Mina giggled, “then, I don’t talk to him.”

A few days later, we met Mina’s husband, with metal framed glasses, with a gray robe, gentle looking, definitely the “untraditional” husband of this region; he has a job, works at an NGO that focused on the issues of youths, he’s extremely passionate about social awareness.

All the ladies continued grooming over the wools, and wrapped around the yarns, and, don’t know how much time passed, the ladies took out the specialty pot, the specialty rice from Northern African, and homemade breads to serve them to us, friends who came from the distant.  In the heated smokes, they’d ditched their regrets of not being able to read, the sisters because they didn’t have much materials, used cups, plastic cans, as drums, started performing and singing, and with their singing, they’d become connected as friends.  Mina said how she’s planning to put forth a community shop for women, “because boys can get an education no problem, but girls, in order for them to get an education, the families must have a stable source of income.”

The wind still howled outside, and, looking out into the distance, you see nothing but stones and vast land, the weavers’ carpets really seemed to take off into the air with the wind.  Before we parted, the young woman who was in charge, Mafalda put the cash she got from trading her carpets into her bras, and nodded to us that: what was in the pictures on the carpets will NO longer be just dreams, that distant wish will one day, come true.

So, this, is the story of hope for women from an area where they have little to NO rights, and, there are, those backward places in the world today, and, these ladies, they’d kept that positive outlook on their lives, and, their optimism is the key, for getting them through their days.

When There’s Nothing Left You Can Say to Me

When there’s nothing left you can say to me, then, maybe, just maybe, we should consider signing our divorce?  When there’s nothing left you can say to me, I’m certainly not the one to blame here, ‘cuz I’d been waiting here, for you, to come, to talk to me, and you just NEVER had!

When there’s nothing left you can say to me, well, then, maybe, it’s best, that neither one of us talked to each other, because I will always have MORE to say to you, but seeing how you’re already out of words, think I’ll just keep the things I wanted to say to you to myself then.

When there’s nothing left you can say to me, then, that marked the end of this so-called marriage, after all, a good marriage should BE based off of communication, shouldn’t it?  And, if you can’t even find anything to say to me, then, what KIND of a marriage would we be living in?

When there’s nothing left you can say to me, then, let’s just walk away, peacefully, but, how can we?  When we still felt cheated, taken advantage of?  So, we let this drag on for longer, until it’s finally OVER, and I’m totally FREE of you!

A Blind High School Teacher Didn’t Teach with Her Eyes, But with Her Heart

The heart of a school teacher, translated…

“How can you teach if you can’t see?”, that, is the mostly asked question to Hsieh, but, she’d always replied with the utmost confidence, “with my lips, with my heart, so long as you have heart, it can be done!” the thirty-four year old Hsieh, because of her optical nerve deterioration, back in high school, her eyesight started becoming worse and worse, she couldn’t live the dreams of becoming a lawyer, but she didn’t get beaten by the “darkness”, instead, with the encouragements from her classmates, she’d gone to schools to substitute, then, entered into the examinations of school teachers, and now, she teaches civic duties to high school students.

“When I’d decided to face up to it, I no longer feared.” Hsieh admitted, as her sight started failing, she felt beaten, but, with the words of encouragements from her roommates, “we can’t always be around you”, I’d waken her up, “all I can do, is to face it with bravery, so I’d have the chances to keep going in life.”

When she’d entered into the teacher’s examinations, she’d asked for the enlarged prints, and entered into the testing center with a blind person’s walking stick, the judge only asked her, “Where do you want to go to teach?”, she’d replied, with an optimism, “Anywhere will do.”, as if the darkness never obstructed her path.

Since she was in school, she’d made excellent grades, even though she couldn’t see, but she held on to the belief of “Chance is for the prepared”, regularly when she’d prepared for her classes, she’d used the taped texts as the basis of her lessons, and, used movies, along with her knowledge in law, and managed to entertain, as well as, educate her students.

And, she’d applied for a sight assistant, helped her get to know the needs of her students one by one, and, in class, she’d come up with clapping to interact with the students instead of having them raise their hands; she’d even designed a “Self-examination of Focus” for her students to fill out, so they can learn to motivate themselves.

Hsieh’s mother, Chen, from the moment she’d passed her examinations for becoming a teacher, she’d gone from Changhwa to Pingdong to accompany her, becoming her eyes.  Chen said, seeing how optimistic her daughter acted, fearless of the roads up ahead, she’s prouder than anybody else.

So, this school teacher not only didn’t get beaten by her own sight problems, she’d come up with innovative ways to educate, and, her students loved her, because she’d taught them with her heart, not just with her eyes.

The Small Town of Sorrows, a Poem

Translated…

Since the black pupils left the small town of sorrows

The dawn had never since, been awakened again

All the desires became like a trade-off

You, using your lies, in exchange for my body

I used my happiness, to strip you of your freedom

It’s best that way, nobody owes anybody anything

Unless you’d managed, to take away the heart of the moon from it

Unless you’d managed to collect the star-lit skies

Then perhaps, you’d be able to, lengthen that contract of love a bit longer

But, if you must wait for that long

Do remember, to wake me up, from the thousand years of dormancy

But, all I’d become was nothing more than an empty shell now

Feeling numb, my eyes couldn’t see any light, my limbs are cold

Don’t recall anything about you, just keeping the beauties

Only saving what seemed to be nice memories

And, all my friends who’d gotten involved in the hibernations seemed to have similar symptoms

We were all, abandoned by time, into some unknown space and time

It’s said, that a damage cell can become repaired completely

A shattered heart can be remolded again

The tears of sorrows, in exchange for eternal life

Can you, make my lover into the most ideal for me too

So his blood boils, only for me

That I’d be the only one, who can possibly fill all his desires

If so, that would be grand, the dual helixes of fate

Come!  Those who love me, and those whom I love

Let’s dance like there’s no tomorrow in hell then

And, allow that black dahlia to bloom into the nights

Sacrificing your souls, as well as your dreams to Satan

Then, you shall have limitless youth for you to spend

So, would you, be willing to make this trade?  And, this is still all happening, in that small town called sorrows, and, wouldn’t it be questionable, why if what you can gain is so good, all of this, is happening, in a town called sorrow?  Makes you think, doesn’t it?

A Long-Distance Love from the Family

A treasure map of memories, translated…

We’d met our son who lives in California just once every year, like the star-crossed lovers, on the separate ends of the world, that relied on the birds to make a bridge, to allow them to meet up, and, the bird that we relied on was the Giant 747, it’d taken us across the Pacific Ocean, brought us to our son, every lunar New Year.

The Long Distance Close Relatives

When I was younger, I’d been in long-distance relationships too, back then, the tourists weren’t welcomed, we didn’t have the money to make those long-distance calls either, I’d always feared, that my lover (now he’s my husband) and I will end up going separate ways, and, we can only transfer the love we feel for one another in the letters, to fill up this void, that’s impossible to surpass, the oceans.  And, I didn’t imagine, that as I’d gotten older, I’d be faced with the similar situations too, it’s just that the other person became my son, that I must work hard, to maintain this long-distance mother-child relation.

As I’d signed on Facebook, the software immediately connected my son to “someone I may know”, as I was feeling glad over this, I’d seen his name, vanish, turns out, “it’s a huge embarrassment to be in the same social order as your mom”.  But gladly, my son opened up his e-mail and his Skype accounts, and I got to send my love to him just the same, and because he’d gotten older and more mature, he’d known to come back to Taiwan every once in awhile too, to visit us, his relatives in the distance.

On the topics of “going home to visit the relatives”, there’s that nostalgia from before, like how I’d used the time when my husband was on business trips to Asia, and I’d first, flown to Hong Kong, checked into the Shangri-La Hotel, dressed up to go to the dinner parties, then, my husband headed off to China for his meetings, and I’d taken my son back to Taiwan, to be with my parents.

Missing Those Who are Close to Us in Life

After I’d started living in Taiwan long-term, I’d gone back to the States to visit with families and relatives, other than my son, the other important site I’d gone to was the Forest Hill Cemetery, to visit my in-laws, the headstones are all erected, in the evenly mown lawn, looking over the land, it was peaceful, quiet, and beautiful, it’s a park, decorated with flowers and balloons.  We’d lit a couple sticks on incense, and carried on in conversations with my in-laws, to tell them how we’d been, and reminisce about our travels together.

When we were younger, we weren’t well-to-do, in order to save the money, the five of us would cramp up in a small hotel room, and my father-in-law snored very loudly, and my mother-in-law would always rustle over her packed up suitcases, and, it’d disturbed my sleep.  But, enjoying the travels, I didn’t mind it at all, plus, my son was so happy, being in the company of his grandparents.

Many years after my in-laws had passed, my husband had finally overcome his own sorrows, and finally, dared to approach their home for twenty years, that’s now, inhabited by strangers.  Over there, every morning, my mother-in-law would head out with a small bag of bread, to the alleyway, to feed all the pigeons that were waiting for her already, then, she’d come home, fried some eggs, made French toast, and even though her high blood pressure is out of control, she’d still used butter with blue cheese; on the empty lot out front, my father-in-law was washing the car, getting ready to pick us up to take us to this new Cuban restaurant that’s recently opened up, the onion stewed pork and garlic stewed chicken.

We drove very slowly, passed through the familiar streets, written with a ton of memories, the scenes were blurred, as if the black and white films, developing the pictures of my in-laws, smiling and waving hi to us right ‘round the corners………

Whether it be returning to Taiwan or going back to the States, it’s all an expectant beautiful moment for me, later, I’d maximized this beauty, started going to Shanghai to visit the offspring of my father’s mentor, in 1949, because of my father’s mentor, giving my parents two tickets for the ship, our parents and we were given a different chance at life; headed over to Beijing to visit my mother’s long time lost cousin; going to the southern regions, to visit our old neighbors, or our old acquaintances………

I loved looking back, and reviewed all the people with whom I’d come into contact with, unknowingly, my life, had marched, into the depth of autumn too.  One day eventually, my racing heart would get tired, and, my running steps will slow down, then, I will, sit quietly, in front of the windows in the wintertime, waiting for the moon, and, drinking up this wine, made with memories.  I guess, the taste would be flavorful, and lingering on.

So, this, is looking back on one’s life, reviewing all the interactions that one has had, the people who’d made a difference to your life, and the life of your loved ones, and, this may leave the person feeling that sense of calm, or anxiety, depending on how good or bad the memories are, and in this case, the person has nothing BUT memory-worthy things to recall.

Loving Myself More than You

There’s nothing wrong with, loving myself more than you, is there?  Of course NOT!!!  So, how DARE you, make me feel so guilty, for loving myself more than I do you?

Loving myself more than you, that, is what I’d decided to do, after all, you don’t know how to respect me, you’d used me, abused me, then, you’d kicked me to the curbs.

Loving myself more than you, putting myself as the TOP of my own priorities, that, is how I intend to live my life, from here on after.  I’d loved you, once, more than I loved myself, and that, was the deadliest mistake I’d ever made, it ended up, ruining me completely, and yet, I still managed, to dig myself out of that deep and dark hole, and now, I’m here.

Loving myself more than you because I can, because I’m supposed to, because I will always have MORE respect for me, than you’d EVER shown me.  Loving myself more than you, you may think that I’m being narcissistic, but I’m not, I’m just showing MYSELF the respects, honoring myself, because I’m the only one I had, to count on, and if I don’t or can’t give myself that, then, who will???