The legacy of love here, translated…
In the hospital, my eldest brother handed me a bag of butterfly pea, “Perhaps, this, is, the very last pack of butterfly peas that mom can ever give you now.”
Last year, my eldest brother started planting a few branches of butterfly peas, or maybe, it was how the sun always hangs high up in the skies in the south, in just a few short months, the vines from the plant had, climbed all over the arch, and in the morning, there were, those, blue flowers, it was, a sort of an extraordinary kind of beauty, the blue flowers. I’d started, following the trends, and made the teas from the butterfly peas too, although it didn’t have any special tastes, but, that blue that started dispersing in the water was, too beautiful to resist; and maybe, it’s, how tasteless the teas are, that it’d, added to my own serenity, and the colors that changed the water, made me realized, how nothing is, ever the same in life. In the afternoons, no matter if I was in the midst of the chaos of my workspace, or if it was from the solitary moments I’d stolen away, there was, always, that scent of calm, that was, instilled, into my chaotic life.
In the winters and the summers, I got more time to spend back at home, early one morn, my mother and I sat, and watched the beautiful flowers, and I’d, mentioned to her, how much, I loved the plant, “How come you didn’t tell me earlier?” she’d asked.
Then, the trips I’d made back home, my eldest brother would always, hand me the dried up bags of flowers for me, to take back to Taipei. “This was hand-picked by mom, and sundried by her too”, he’d always, added.
what the flowers look like, photo from online
Another morning, I’d tilted my head outside, saw my mother, with her hunch, bent, slowly, picking down the flowers, and, if she’d, accidentally, dropped them, she’d, had an even harder time, bending toward the ground, to pick them back up. I went downstairs, to help my mother get a container for the flowers, she’d placed the flowers she’d picked into the corner of the bamboo basket, and there were, a few piles there already.
“This wasn’t from the same days, the farthest pile, after today, I can, bag it up, for you, to take back to Taipei………”, she’d pointed to the flowers that had become, withered away, and reminded me, that the more dried they were, the less easy mold would grow on them. Seeing my mother’s face, I saw how blessed I was, and hoped, that this bliss can last, forever.
That day as I got the news of my mother being sent to the E.R. for hospitalization, I’d, rushed home overnight, and everything on the outside, flashed quickly by, and by the time I’d arrived in the hospital, it was already, in the depth of the night, my eldest brother told me, that my mother’s second stroke may impact her physical ability, as well as her language too.
The following day as I fed my mother the meals, she’d, pushed my hand away, wanted to use her own hand to get the food, but she’d, failed time and time again, I’d whispers light into her years, “Allow your son, to take care of you now.” That was when she’d, finally, opened up her mouth to eat. Both our lips were, trembling, it’s just, that the tears had, flowed from my eyes, while my mother, she couldn’t, even find it in her, to cry anymore………
illustration from UDN.com
My eldest brother hurried me back to Taipei, to take care of work first, that he shall, handle everything regarding our mother. Before I headed back home, my eldest brother handed me a bag of dried butterfly pea.
“This is probably, the very final bag that mom can ever, give to you.”, he’d told me.
I’d taken that bag, felt a ton of emotions, rumbling inside of me, I hoped, that my mother could, pick a few more flowers, so I can, continue to feel cherished by her still.
After my return home, I’d, placed this bag of flower on the tables, there was, that scent of the sun, also, the love of my mother that’s, steady, and persistent, it’s also, a sort of, a forever kind of, nostalgia I felt toward her.
I’d wanted to, dry it even more.
And so, this last bag of dried flower, may well be, the thingi that this man’s mother left behind for him, and, this just showed, how much care this mother took, to take care of her children, just like how she’d, tended to the flowers in the garden too.