From the child’s perspective, on filial relations, translated…
When they had Chinese simple buns for breakfast, mom thought it was too dry, hard to swallow; as my father made the smoked meats for the New Year’s, she’d felt it was too troublesome, and unsanitary; as dad went to the wedding banquets or out to exercise, mom wore her displeased expression, wouldn’t follow him out………
In my eyes, my parents rarely did anything together, they’d always spat because of the differences in their opinions. And after dad got nagged too hard by mom, he’d always left a “What would you know!”, then, fallen silent, or just, closed his eyes to rest. On the weekends, as their grandchildren came with us to visit, they’d all secretly asked, “Why is grandma so mean to grandpa?”, and all my younger sister and I can do, was shrug, and smiled bitterly toward one another, because, we too, want to know the answer to that.
In my memories, my parents never fitted, they’d rarely agreed on anything, or maybe, it was the difference in age, and they got married, on their parents’ requests, not by love!
But, these couple of years, mom started having the simple Chinese buns for breakfasts, and woke early to go to the parks to exercise too, and started making the smoked meats before the New Year’s. I’d asked her why she’d made the adjustments? She’d answered matter-of-factly, “That was what your dad used to do from before!”, I’d pressed, “but I thought you’d hated having the simple buns and smoked meats, nor waking up early to exercise!”, mom opened up her eyes wide, rebutted, “Says WHO!”
Until when my younger sister went home for a visit, she’d fell ill and rested on my mother’s bed, and, as she was still drowsy, she’d found my father’s photo from the shrine next to the pillow, she was thrilled and completely, awakened, I’d heard my younger sister told me this, and I’d, realized, that my mother was, missing my dad.
Naturally, every time I’d gone home, I’d found her, duplicating my father’s way of life, all of these changes in her had, shocked me………
After I’d thought on the matter hard, I’d all of a sudden realized, that the older generations wouldn’t express their love so openly, they’d constantly used the opposite of what they wanted to say, to test one another, this, I suppose, is a way, of how they’d, interacted, gotten along. After dad died, from the changes in mom, I’d finally understood, that in their forty years of life together, they’d, shared many things, and each and every time they’d spat, they were, showing love to one another.
It’s just, that I’d felt, awful, that had they’d been able to communicate more, with some more little more sweetened words, they would be able to share that simple breakfast, and gone to exercise together, make the smoked meats, and, they may be able to share, better memories, and we wouldn’t have misunderstood.
This sort of an awakening came a bit late, I’d scolded myself for being too slow to realize. Other than regretting, I can only remind myself, that I should, show my love, my gratitude, toward those around me, to cherish our time together.
So, this, is how the older generations showed love, and, because the former generations weren’t used to show love so bluntly, they’d, kept their love inside of themselves, and the generations have this gap, because of the times being different, and now, this woman finally understood, that her parents actually, loved one another very much, it’s just that when she was younger, she couldn’t understand the way they’d, showed the love they had toward one another.