How We Celebrate Mother’s Day

Splitting up our schedules, so we would have time with our separate families, translated…

My wife is from Kaohsiung, she’d married me at age twenty-eight, and lived with me in Taipei, living alongside me, focusing her life on my family of origin and I, every year around the New Year’s or the holidays, the parents’ and elder’s birthdays, we’d spent in Taipei; and we’d only gone back to her home in Kaohsiung on New Year’s and winter and summer vacations, most of the other times, we can only make the phone calls back to her parents.

Several years ago, things started changing, my wife finally received her doctorate, and luckily, she’d found a teaching position in Kaohsiung, and so, she’d taken our younger daughter back home to live, and I lived with my college age son in Taipei. My wife’s scheduling was way more flexible than my schedules in the high school I’m teaching in, and so, she was the one, traveling to Taipei from Kaohsiung, and back.

The very first Mother’s Day after we’d, “split up”, in order to make the time for Taipei’s schedule, she’d especially have a Mother’s Day celebration in Kaohsiung for her own mother. Before Mother’s Day the following year, my mother opened up, said that we lived in Taipei, that we can gather at any time, that we should be the ones, having the Mother’s Day celebration a week early; that way, on Mother’s Day, my wife would be able to stay in Kaohsiung, to spend the day with her parents.

And this, is how we spent Mother’s Day now.

And so, this mother-in-law was very kind, and thoughtful, and, her act of kindness made the family work even better together, because I’m more than certain, that the man’s wife appreciated her mother-in-law’s kind gestures, to let her go back home to spend Mother’s Day with her side of the family.


No Longer, the Tripping Queen

The changes in your habits, with age, because, as we get older, we can’t afford to trip and fall again, as everything is slowly lost by the year, translated…

Two months ago, I’d had my surgery, with my two hiking canes, I’d gone with the tour group to visit the Taichung Literature Museum, the Donghai University, the Zhongxing University, and the Wufeng Literary Library, and places, although I couldn’t walk swiftly enough, but I’d not slowed the whole group down. My companions worried I may have it too hard, I’d answered, “No problem, if you don’t believe me, I’ll run to show you!”

In recent years, I’d, tripped and fallen repeatedly, it’d made my families worry. I’d tripped by accident in front of the plaza before the deity temple, like I was, a worshipper, and thankfully, I’d not sustained any injuries, and was able to finish my trip; after watching my classmate performed in traditional Chinese opera, I’d wanted to go and congratulate her, on the way to backstage, the moment the door swung open, I’d, suddenly, fallen, flat on my face, it’d, thrilled my companions, thankfully, not a scratch.

查看來源圖片like, this???  Photo from online…

One more time, I’d agreed to meet by the Nanggang Exhibition Hall MRT stations, I was on a bicycle, then, transferring to the MRT, and, I’d, slammed on the brakes of the bicycle, and, the bicycle flipped over, I’d, fallen, but thankfully, I was agile enough, I got up immediately, continued heading to my meet with my classmate. After we’d met, I’d gone to the restrooms, I thought that it was more sanitary, the squatting toilets, but, as I’d extended my foot, I’d, kicked and tripped on the steps, and my eye bumped onto the toilet flush! Thankfully, I’d only sustained a bruise on my eye, and, was healed up after days of rest.

At the end of last year, I’d rushed out to take out the trash, on the way, I’d, tripped, and, in the excruciating pain, I’d, headed over to the nearby hospital; my right shoulder had a complete fracture, and needed the titanium to hook it up in place, and, I’d had herniated discs on my fourth and fifth spinal columns, and needed the titanium plates, and four nails to stabilize.

After these major surgeries, my son begged me, his seventy-seven year-old mom to not act tough anymore, he’d, given me a hiking cane made from carbon. Mmmmmmmmmmm, I’d gotten, two extra “legs”, and, it’d become, safer for me to get around. In order to save my loved ones the worries, and still be agile, getting around, I’d reminded myself, to watch where I’m going, to walk step by step, slowly, that way, I would be rid of the nickname of the “Queen of Tripping”, so I get to, enjoy every day that I will come to have.

And so, you were, careless when you walked from before, and now you’re, getting older, you would need to remind yourself, to walk slower, to walk carefully, so you won’t have so many accidents as you had when you were younger, that’s a good change with age, I suppose…

With the Children Accompanying on the Trips, Better than the Gourmet Restaurant & the Gifts on Mother’s Day

What our elders really wanted, and yet, do we, give it to them??? From the Newspapers, translated…

From when my parents were still around, on Mother’s Day, we’d often gone to the restaurants to celebrate the occasions, eating and chatting away, very loud, especially when we’d gone to the all-you-can-eat buffets, we’d carried on in conversations, and eaten the foods, it’s so very fun. But, since we’d gotten the unlimited cheap online access, we’d become mutes as we ate, stared at the screens, ignoring each other’s existence, and as we’d gotten older, we don’t eat as much anymore, usually, a plate’s worth of protein, two plates worth of vegetables, that would do it, and so, we’d stopped, wasting the money, to stuff ourselves, and estrange ourselves from one another.

My family loved tiramisu, and so, we’d used the cakes, singing to celebrate the occasion, the cheesecakes, the mango puddings, chocolate mousses, with a wide variety of flavors, sliced to thin slices, and shared with each other. And yet, as my kids started caring more about their looks and gone on diets, the elders had the issues of hypertension, high glucose, high cholesterol, then after the “Happy Birthday” was sung, after we said our well-wishes everybody spread out, the cake became lonely, left, on the tables.

like this???  Photo from online…

And so, as I’d become the best actress, no restaurants, no cakes, I’d chosen to have a family outing, time and place, mine to decide, the kids accompanying by, as company and tour guides, more importantly, the BEST Mother’s Day present, “with children accompanying!”

That time, we’d gone to the Wu Gardens in Tainan, with the reputation of one of the four must-see gardens in Taiwan, and it lived up to the name, underneath that blue sky, the European style building looked even more majestic, the ancient site hadn’t lost its appeals at all, there’s that classic sense of aestheticism all around, the green grasses, the colorful flowers, made us all feel very joyous, there were a lot of people who did their wedding photos here too.

My kids had trekked alongside me, viewing these beautiful nature scenes, I was pleased, with that sense of comfort, and serenity. Nothing, including the gourmet dining experiences, the gifts, can give me satisfaction comparing to what I’d felt, that peace, that fulfillment on that day.

family outing here, photo from online…查看來源圖片

This year, I’d already planned to walk the old streets, or head to the beaches to see the sunset, this is how Mother’s Day should be spent, “with the kids ‘accompanying by’, enjoying the bliss.”

And so, with the coming of age, you’d realized, that the most important on these special occasions is to spend the time with your loved ones, to have your kids around you, and you’d refocused on what is truly important on these holidays and special occasions too.

Mr. Fried Shrimp Seals on Hide-and-Seek

Stepping out of one’s own comfort zones, you might discover something about yourselves, translated…

From when I was younger, I’d loved playing hide-and-seek, I’d especially enjoyed hiding in that spot but not get found by those who’d passed me by, with that mixture of sense of achievement of not being caught, and with the sense of lost, of not being found. The hiding place for me was, the weirder, the better.

White is my protective color, and so, I’d hidden in cream and butter the most, but because I got so good at hiding, every time I’d played the games, I’d needed to, wait a very long time to get found, and so, I’d stopped, hiding out in the pile of butter.

like this???  查看來源圖片image from online…

Recently, because I wore my knitted orange striped socks, I was mistaken for fried shrimp, and started getting out of the comfort zone of white, and attempted to mask myself as a burger with fried shrimp.

At first, that was quite exciting, after all, it was, a semi-open hiding space, and it’d worked out quite well too, half of the people just thought that I was drizzled in white sauce, which allowed me a better angle, to observe everybody’s expressions, so very interesting.

I blame myself for getting comfortable, hiding in white from before.

This is on the importance of stepping out of our comfort zones, yeah, it would feel a bit dangerous, sure, but, if we don’t venture out of those zones of comfort we are staying in, how the HECK can we know what sort of wonderful things await us out there?





The First of My Priorities

The shifting of this woman’s priority as she’d become, a mother, translated…

As the sleepy bugs attacked, Mimi who’s not yet two became very clingy and easily agitated. After I’d carried her to bed, we’d experienced rolling around on the sheets, a game of chasing, making friends with the big Teddy bear, went off bed to get some milk, playing with toys, reading books, until after a whole hour, she’d finally, fallen to sleep. And, in order to get this face that’s, so sound asleep, I’d needed to have the twice a day, three minutes, to two hours’ drama of putting her to bed.

Hanging up the laundry will only take me ten minutes, sweeping, mopping the floors, no more than fifteen, but, don’t know if the next time my daughter flipped over if she will have those shiny bright eyes, looking at me? And, in order to have a set schedule for her, I can only, keep my patience, and stay by her side, to soothe her, and tried not to think about how much time has already passed, and, I’d accompanied her into dreams, then, awaken in a panic in the late nights, then, started, sorting through the messes in the house, and my work.

Recalling how as I started teaching first grade, in order to get the kids to understand the trials that their mothers had weathered, carrying them inside, I’d prepared the big balloons, to get those six-year-olds to stuff into their shirts, to try walking with a protruding belly. I’d heard the kids who were sweating like crazy, smiling and telling me, “It’s so hot!”, “I keep on bumping into my belly!”, back then, I wasn’t a mother yet, and couldn’t tell them exactly, why it was that motherhood is so difficult? And, as I’d heard my coworkers told, that only in the depth of the nights, did they get the chance to catch a reflection of themselves in the mirrors, to put on the makeup, then, they’d recalled, that there are other roles that they’d taken, other than a mother. Back then being single, I didn’t get it, does being a mother meaning losing the self? Or, does being a mother mean, that we are, our last priorities?

And snow, I’d become, a mother like that. At 7:30 in the morning, I’d, run into class, and, get my baby back at five from the nanny, and engaged in that race between being a mother and working as a school teacher. And the identity of me being “Ms. Lee” became, miniscule, because I’d needed, to fight for the freedoms to catch a matinee or to go for a thirty-minute jog. And, the freedoms those revolutionaries fought so hard for, I’d, easily, turned in my own life of independence, for a child.

The twelve-year-olds are already, very opinionated, looking at the girls, complaining on how their mothers don’t know them one bit, and that they’d often gave their mothers the silent treatments. I’d recalled how when Mimi was nine-months old, and had a very high fever, how I’d waited with her in the E.R., waiting for the urine test results and the blood test results.

I want to tell my Mimi, I know, that in your world, there will be many more beautiful things that are going to be ahead of us, your parents, we understand it, and we will, let go so you can pursue whatever makes you happy, but, the moment you’d become our baby, you’d become, and will always be, our top most priority.

And so, this, is how the mindset changes from when you were single, to when you’d become a mother, because, as we became mothers, time is no longer ours, it’d belonged to our children’s, and a lot of women lose their identities, taking up the multiple roles that we take up in our lives, and this woman apparently, found the balance of being a mother and being a school teacher, and her top priority is her daughter’s wellbeing, and that makes her a good mother!

Another “Opening” on My Body

Adapting to that extra opening on your body after your cancer, learning to live in peace with it, stop seeing it as an inconvenience of your life, and just, accepting it as a part of the brand new you now, translated…

I was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, last time I’d worked up the courage to write out my own story, it was, six months ago. I’d not dared state that I’d, encouraged other patients of cancer, but at least, I’d, given some courage to those I knew.

On my birthday last year, I’d, passed through the trials of life and death again, I’d gotten a new partner on my body——an enterostomy. Although I was diagnosed with lung adenocarcinoma, but that cancer loved, running around my body, metastasized to my abdomen. As I’d gotten my enterostomy, I’d felt troubled when I head out, and worried staying out too long, and every time I’d gone back to my oncologist, I’d asked when I can get the opening closed?

After I’d stayed home for about a month, not dared going out anywhere, I couldn’t say no to the temptations of food my friends and families used, started staying out of my house longer. At first, I’d, become, so nervous, everywhere I’d gone, I’d, cased out the place, to make sure that there’s a place I can go, and clean myself off, and I’d felt safe and securer. With the passing of time, I’d slowly gotten better off along with my enterostomy, and, in these past six months, I’d not only fitted myself into kimono to go to a sake tasting, headed to my seven days in Disney Tokyo with my older sister, gone to a salsa class which I started taking from before I was diagnosed, dressed up to the nines, in my high-heels, to my best friend’s wedding! And, my pack for heading out went from everything I may need, to, just a small bottle for water to clean off myself with.

查看來源圖片what it looked like in a “diagram”…from online…

Since I’d had a enterostomy, every time I’d seen that poster of giving the priority seats to those in need, even though they don’t appear different, I’d felt, deeply touched. Everybody needs to get taken care of, like there’s no way I would need to, or feel compelled, to lift up my blouse to see my needs at all time; now, as I see those younger faces sitting on the priority seats, I’d no longer stared.

There’s an exit on my body now, and, it seemed, that it’d, helped opened up a brand new window to my heart too, I’d become, more open minded, with a little more experimentalism. I hope to develop a bathing device for myself, so I can get away from being wiped for my baths (although there are the enterostomies on the markets that allowed for showers, but there are still, many inconveniences).

I’d no longer asked my oncologist when I can get my enterostomy sewn back up, and accepted that it’s, a part of who I am; with it, I’d even become, an observer in the restrooms! Perhaps one day in the future, I will write another article on how I’d used the restrooms with my enterostomy.

And so, you’d, finally, slowly accepted this opening on your body as a part of you, and, this took a lot of time, because treatment of cancer is never easy, especially the aftermath of it, even after you’d gotten surgeries, to get rid of the cancer cells, there are still, many things that came afterwards, the regular follow-ups, along with many more inconveniences in your lives, but, you’d, finally, learned, to adapt yourself to your “discomfort” and started coexisting in peace with it.

Just an Ordinary Person

Being different, and finally, slowly, coming into acceptance, of one’s own physical conditions, translated…

I was, diagnosed with vitiligo, and been in treatment for over three years up to date.

Actually, having this condition really doesn’t affect my overall health status, but, there would be, patches of white, irregular-shaped chunks that showed up on my skin. And, if the chunks were so place apparent, then, it’d caused me to become, the center of attention. And, the curiosities, interests shown toward my condition, even making fun of the way I appeared, had always, caught me, off guard each and every time.

My white spots were located around my ears and neck, and when I was quite young, I’d not, minded it at all, but as I got older, the area grew larger, and became more, and more, noticeable, plus, the friends, relatives, and those I knew would show concerns from time to time, along with the strangers’ looking at me weird, I’d started, feeling more and more self-abased, worried, that I’d, looked like a monster in other people’s eyes.

At first, I was, naïve to believe, that I’d only needed a year’s worth of treatments, to get rid of it completely, for once and for all, but, it’d been, over three years to date, but, the patches only, shrunk in size by a little bit. And as my stresses from day to day grew, and I’d needed to, head to the hospitals to get treated, my patience became, spent, by all of my negative moods, and I’d, wanted to give up the treatment procedures, but, I couldn’t, walk out into the world, with my white spots, and face everyone else in the world, and so, I can only, grit down my teeth, and continue on in treatment.

Sometimes, I’d wondered, did I do something awful, so God felt compelled, to brand me, with these, white markings on my body? In the nights, I’d, bowed my head down to God, vowed, that I will, change my ways, to NOT be as aloof as I’d always been to the outside world, prayed, that he could, stop torturing me. But, as I’d realized, that praying to God doesn’t do SQUAT, I’d started crying in the nights, and, blamed the heavens for giving me this misfortune in life, and, blamed the world for being, so unfriendly.

But, after all these years, I’d slowly, walked out of the gloom, because, I’m not the only one who’s, suffering, my family needed to take me to the hospitals for treatment, and, after their hard days of work, they’d needed to, keep the energies up, to take me to the hospital, and, seeing how there are, little to no improvements to my conditions, they’re, stressed out too. And, how can I, keep on, living in self-pity, and affecting their moods endlessly too? Isn’t this the time, that I should, flash my radiant smiles at them?

I’d rarely, disclosed my condition actively to others, and I’d often, hidden myself, mask myself up, hoping, that nobody sees that I’m, different. But, now I’d, bravely, decided, to write it all out, so more can see, hoping, that it helps bring about more understanding between people in the world, then, the next time, you all come face to face, with those who are, biologically, or psychologically different than you, then, you can, show them more tolerance, and respect too.

I, am not weird, just like you, I’m, an ordinary person too.

And so, this, is how long it’d taken, for this person, to see herself as is, because her physical conditions, she’d felt that she was, inferior to everybody else in the world, because of her conditions, she’d, felt troubles from before, because people who don’t know her kept inquiring, and it’d, caused her stress, but now, after seeing how much her family was, putting in, to take care of her, she’d, decided, to change her perceptions of her own condition, and, it’d, helped her, adapt better, because at least, she’s, slowly, coming to, accepting herself as is, and, that, is the MOST important thing of all, accepting yourselves, because if you don’t, how can you ask the rest of the world to, and this woman, had already, taken her very FIRST step toward becoming, a better version of herself!