On filial relations, translated…
My friend, Dai posted pictures of her traveling with her older brother and sister-in-law together, looking at how happy they looked in the picture, I’m thinking, that Dai had already, untied that knot that she had in herself, forgiven her, and let herself off the hook easy now.
In the past, Dai had complained about how much she felt taken advantage of by her older brother and sister-in-law, she said that her older brother works as a manager, with a good income, but because he’s not that tall, he’d had a difficult time, finding a good woman, until his forties, did he marry his wife by matchmaking, and they had children together. He was thankful that his wife didn’t pick at him, he’d carried the belief of “being a man is loving his wife”, cherished his wife so. But, Dai’s sister-in-law insisted on not living with her mother-in-law, and so, her older brother can only take back the roof floor of an apartment he had on lease to someone, to have their mother live there alone, and said, “We’re on the fourth floor, we should be able to look after mom, being neighbors to her.”
Her mother is elderly, and would often have minor aches and pains, and, the older brother always said that he was too busy from work, and wanted Dai to take her mother to go see the doctors by her motorcycle; but when her sister-in-law has a cold, her brother would take a leave of absence from the office to look after her, it’d made Dai feel unfair. But her mother consoled with her, “The one who will stay by your older brother’s side is his wife, NOT his mother, they can look after one another, hold hands, treat one another well, and so, when I die, I won’t have any worries.” After Dai heard, she’d felt heart wrenching, and didn’t know how to reply to her mother’s words. She could only make it home more often, to accompany her mother, to lessen the strains of loneliness on her.
Dai also told me, that her mother had complications from diabetes, she’d become severely visually impaired, and in order to prevent her from tripping and falling, her sister-in-law had packed up the meals and bring it upstairs, but, didn’t feel like opening the door, and just, hung the cooked meals outside on the mother’s door, and rang the door bell for her, and went downstairs. Her mother is slow to move, hard of hearing, and sometimes, as Dai went to accompany her, she’d found the meals still hung on the doorknobs, it’d made her angry, and she felt very awful for her mother’s sake. She’d planned to confront her sister-in-law several times, but her mother always blocked her, said, “ ‘Daughter-in-law, at the least, she’d prepared the three meals, and, daughters, they can’t make it home every single day to see the parents.’ I don’t have much time left, and, your older brother will be your own family left, don’t get on each other’s bad side on my behalf, and, let your sister-in-law have what’s coming to her.”
Not long thereafter, Dai’s mother fell seriously ill, and, before she’d died, she’d consoled with her son and daughter, to make up.
Dai said, the first few years after her mother’s death, every time she’d thought about how her older brother and sister-in-law had mistreated her mother, her heart wrenched in pain, she was, filled with anger, she doesn’t even want to see them at all. But, her mother’s final words kept circling inside, and she’d felt, that she’d, not done as her mother had asked her to, and felt guilty over it. Recently, she saw her brother’s hair turned all white, looking weathered, and she’d thought, that they are both, past sixty now, and, keep hating her sister-in-law meant she’d lost another loved one, forgiving her, she and her brother can move on, that, was what made her slowly, want to get back in contact with them.
I think, forgiving others, is also, letting ourselves off the hooks, Dai found the source of that knot inside, and stopped trapping herself in the depressive moods, take a step back, the world opens up, and the sun is shining, behind the skies of rain.
So, this, is a woman, finally forgiving her older brother and sister-in-law for not caring enough for her mother, and, sometimes, it takes forever, for forgiveness to come, and in this case, gladly, this younger sister made up with her older brother, and, she did so, only because it’s her mother’s dying wish, and she finally got through to herself, that letting go, is letting herself off the hooks.