The changes in tradition with the coming of death, translated…
My mother is a very traditional woman, the cleaning the house before the New Year’s, buying up the foods and celebratory items for the New Year’s, it’d, tired her out. On New Year’s Eve, making the offerings to the ancestors and the deities, offering to the Chinese God of Everything on the first day of spring, everything MUST be set up; the daughters coming home on the second of the Chinese New Year’s, she’d definitely, cook an entire table’s worth of goodies herself, not skipping a single detail of anything. Until one day she’d told us, she was, tired of doing things the exact same way, that she’d wanted to, travel to the south for New Year’s, and, toward how she’d wanted to go somewhere else for the New Year’s, we’d all, supported her idea, we’d showed her a few popular routes for her to choose from, along with the special sights which are on these routes, and, the three sons-in-law who enacted as drivers all got ready; after the route was selected, we’d gone home, brought along our separate sleeping bags, with a total of sixteen members of the traveling troop, gone off on New Year’s Eve, in a total of three separate cars.
Chinese people get together to celebrate the New Year’s, not my photo
The first year, we’d gone to the Argo Park in Taichung, but because it was spontaneous, we couldn’t get the hotel rooms booked, and so, we can squat in the teacher’s dorm of my fourth youngest brother-in-law’s school. The dozen of us squatted into a room, on the floor, we’d all needed to, sleep on our sides, and, none of us dared getting up to go to the bathrooms in the middle of the nights, fearing, that the next person will, take up our sleeping space. The very next day we got dressed and were, ready to go, but, I’d found my son missing, turned out, that he’d become like Doraemon, rolled into the closets, and couldn’t get back out again.
We’d originally thought, we were going to, get grilled by our parents for sure, for not making these travel plans ahead of time, that it wasn’t, fitting, for the elderly, that they would NEVER go for it again; but, they’d felt, that this was an interesting way to travel, and, right after the Mid-Autumn Festivals, they’d started, inquiring us about the plans, and so, we’d had the Ruili Villa New Year’s Eve gathering next year, the cherry blossoms feast of the Indigenous Tribe Villages, the shaving of sheep at Clear Farm, and the collecting of fruits at Shangri-La farm in Yilan, the making of the rice balls, playing with those spinning tops.
I will NEVER forget, who radiantly my mother smiled all the way, more radiant, than those fresh blooming flowers of springtime.
trips for the Chinese New Year’s, not my photo still…
The time we’d gone to Alishan, mom was riding with us, my husband almost drove the car into a ditch in the thick fog, and, there was a man, knocking on our window asking, “Do you need some assistance?”, everybody in the car screamed aloud, then, the man made fun of himself, “My bad, am I too, atrocious, that I’d, scared all of you?”, he saw how our tires were stuck, and, don’t know where, but he’d called on a couple of stronger men with him, lifted our car back up to the roads. As we’d wanted to thank him, he was, already gone, and, as the fog dissipated, we’d realized, that there was, NOBODY living anywhere NEAR where we got stuck, so, where did all those people come from? Were they, passersby climbers? My mother was still in shock, and stated, how we were blessed, because she’d not forgotten, to offer incense at the shrine back home before we headed out.
And because my mother was so into it, during the New Year’s holidays of those years, we’d, gone to many places, with a drawer full of photos, and, on each and every photo, mom was, grinning ear to ear, and I can still hear her laughter right now, and it was, hard to believe, that my parents had gone on these trips for six years already. And now, as our children are all grown up, all started out in their own separate lives, there were, MORE than sixteen of us, including the offspring from the third generations, but, the tastes of the New Year became, washed out, there’s, NO more of that hollering aloud, at the top of that mountain we’d hiked up to, and the younger drivers, became, tired and fatigued, and weren’t really, in the mood, and, our wills of traveling together, seemed to have been lost, with the passing of my mom as well.
So, this, is how you’d tried to get your elderly parents more active, by taking them out and this had turned into, a tradition of sorts, but, as the elderly gets older and died, you’d stopped this routine, because, there’s, that lack of cohesiveness for you and your family, to do things together…