Just Enjoy Bickering with You, the Love Between Siblings

See how close this pair of sibling is to one another, how they related to each other regularly, translated…

Growing up, the way I’d interacted my younger brother by four years was getting into constant arguments with him; but, we’d only, bickered a lot, and not really gotten into any serious fights.  After I married, I’d moved away from my own home, and slowly, my younger brother and I didn’t get enough chances to get together, and, our connections seemed to be held together, by the jokes we’d, exchanged with one another.

we may be like this every now and then…not my photo…

Not long ago, I took mom to Japan, and, we’d gotten the chance to look at Mt. Fuji, and, the two of us couldn’t help, but have a photograph of us together with Mt. Fuji in the background, and naturally, we’d, immediately shared the photo with our groups on LINE, and yet, my younger brother who’d always been insulting said, how mom and I should’ve been outside the frames of the photo, that way, the picture would’ve been perfect, hinted that we had, destroyed the makeup of the photo, and I don’t know whether I should laugh or get angry at him.

Because our hotel is by a lake, so we could have our breakfasts leisurely and watch the scenes, it surely, was one of the best moments in my life.  We couldn’t help, but share it with our families, our good moods, and yet, my younger brother foolishly asked, if Mt. Fuji would erupt?  This was, surely, possibly, because I’d read related reports, that Mt. Fuji was still an active volcano, and it hadn’t erupted in a long, long time, and, if we’re, unfortunate (or blessed) enough to have it erupt, then, we can only, leave everything up to fate.

After he’d read my replies, he’d immediately joked that mom and I go take out some insurances on ourselves, that if the volcano did erupt, he will be coming in with money then.  I’d told him, surely, and that he should, set up the insurances for us, he’d also commented on how I enjoyed looking pretty, that before the volcano took us over, that I’d needed to, pose beautifully before I die, I can’t help but laugh aloud, he’d wanted me to, go from start to finish, going out, beautifully.

but, we’re always going to be like this…not my photo still

The two of us always talked on everything, rashly and calmly too, and we don’t have any taboos over death either, and so, I can always laugh at his jokes, there’s no raining on my parade one bit, instead, it’d, added that extra fun in my ordinary life.

I want to cherish how I’m able to talk so openly to my younger brother about these sorts of things, because we’re, deeply connected, in synch, that was how we’re able to, blurt out what we’re thinking about to one another at the moment.  I guess, I’ll be willing to, have these insults and exchanges with my younger brother for the rest of our lives!

So, this, is how close the two of you are, you two insulted each other, and, nobody feels offended, because you’d gotten, used to this mean of interaction with each other, and this sort of relating to one another must’ve started when you were, very young, that it’d carried into your adulthood years…

 

The Misbehaving Student’s Coming of Age

How a child who’d not done well in his younger schooling careers became a somebody as he grew up, translated…

I have an elementary classmate, nicknamed “Woody”.  Woody didn’t do well in school, and, anything relating to the academics, he’d gotten punished for scoring too low a score.  Once after an exam, the teacher waved a graded test, called out to the class, “XX Woody, who is this?  Is there a student in the class by this name?”

Everybody in the class burst out laughing, Woody’s real name was “Jie”.  The teacher said, “You can’t even write your own name?”, and naturally, Woody got punished, again, and gained himself the nickname of “Woody” and “XX Woody”.

Actually, our homeroom instructor didn’t give up on Woody, instead, she’d done all she could, to help him get his grades up, one of the tactics our homeroom instructor used, was having the girl who’d made the highest scores on the exams sitting next to “Woody”, she’d told the student, “You need to check Woody’s work before he turns it in, and help tutor him on what he couldn’t understand.”, and, combined, with the entire class’s grade competitions, what we’d competed in, was everything, including the students’ grades as small groups too.

The girl worked very diligently, in what the teacher asked her to do, treated her as an alternative version of our instructor.  She’d gotten very mean with Woody, and started disciplining him verbally AND physically too; because she’d felt pressured by the competitions of the small groups the class was divided into, every time as Woody written down the wrong answers and she’d not discovered it, she’d gotten blamed by the students in the same group.

As she entered into college, she’d started getting into the marches, and reviewed over the realms of education in Taiwan, started seeing her own faults as a gifted-and-talented student, who proud she was in her younger years as a student, and that she may have, hurt someone in the process without ever realizing it.  And, Woody came to her mind a lot.

That girl was, me.

Because I’d lost contact with all of my elementary school classmates, I’d not found the meals, or the courage, to find out, where this “misbehaving child” that’s gotten scolded by the adults since he was growing up went.

At the start of this year, my elementary school classmates had found an assortment of ways online, to find almost everybody in the class back, on the first of the Chinese New Year, we’d had a class reunion at my hometown in Nantou, although I live in Hualien, I’d still, made the long drive there.

I’d arrived late with Mimi Chou, and, as we got there, everybody was already, celebrating the occasion, Woody was so happy to see me, he’d greeted me as I entered, he’d told my daughter, “Your mom was the best friend I’d ever had.”  But, as the drinks were passed, being a bit intoxicated, Woody started, telling the truth about me to my daughter, “Your mom was very mean, kept nagging me.”  Although the atmosphere was great, and, everybody was joking, I couldn’t help, but feel that I’d, done him wrong when I was younger.  I’d waited until an opening, and asked Woody, “So, how are you faring?”

Woody started looking serious, and told me, “Reporting to Ya-Chun, I’d still not done well enough in the academia, after I graduated from my skills school, I’d worked at a bank in the sales department, and due to an opportunity, a client introduced me into the construction industries; now, I won’t brag, but, I’m now, in charge of a couple hundred of workers.”

I kept laughing, told him, “You’re, already, a grown adult, and here I am, pretending to still be that child.”  I’d swallowed down the words “I’m sorry”, I knew, that Woody had, already, forgiven me.

Woody after he’s grown, is passionate, kind to people, mature in handling all his affairs, with an established career, acted as the entertainer in the classmates.  Later on, I’d talked about this with a fellow classmate, she’d sighed, sharing my thoughts, “Yeah, who could’ve guessed, that Woody was going to turn out to be this well-adapted as an adult?”

Grades are NEVER everything!  I hope that our education systems, the parents, the kids, as well as the school teachers, can treat all these children who don’t “perform well in the academia” better.

So here, this still proves, that GRADES don’t make the man, the man, is what makes the M-A-N, like how this misbehaving boy grew up, to become a leader in his industry, treating his employees, as well as others kindly, and, the girl who’d tutored him felt bad over how hard she was on him, but, without her grilling him, he probably couldn’t have, become as disciplined as he’d become…

A Great Bottom-Half of Life

Changes in pace, after the retirement, starting to enjoy the daily goings on of life now, translated…

After I’d learned to make vinegar, the drinks I served in the summertime became the homemade varieties, sanitary and healthy, completely fitting to the Do-it-Yourself spirits.

The days without having to watch the clocks, I’d given my small compact car which I drove for no more than five times a month to my younger sister, and become a commuter, and, relied on the busses, my two sturdy legs, as well as the bicycles, still managed to go all around, helping to reduce the carbon output.

so many options out there, which to pick???  Not my picture…

Waking up early in the morn for my morning run, I’d loved running in the rice paddies, and, as the farmers set up their stands to sell the homegrown produce, I’d bought from the farmers directly, guaranteed fresh, and, as I took the produces home, the morning dews are still on them.

For breakfast, I have a glass of homemade blended soymilk with nuts, the multi-vegetable/fruit juices, or the multi-grain drinks, and the energy for the rest of my day relied on this, I hadn’t frequented the breakfast shops in a long, long while now.

And, as the rice paddies close to my house stopped growing the grains, they would switch to planting the vegetables, the radishes, the potatoes, and at this time, the ladies would start pickling the radishes, making the sauerkraut, hanging an assortment of different dried vegetables out, other than salt and the sunlight, there’s NO other additives.

Going to the libraries to check out books became routine for me, I’d loved reading literatures on animals, and would immerse myself in the world of lions, elephants, jackals, wolves, tigers, leopards.  In the animal kingdom, only elephants and dolphins cry because of their feelings, the new alpha male lion would kill the other baby lions, that way, all the females would be in heat and he would be able to mate with them again, and, the eagles would wait until their fowls leave the nest, then, clean out the nests, and the human mamas’ boys who can’t leave home ought to take the examples from the birds, the animals’ shows of emotions, is comparable to the emotional expressions of humans

As I was younger, I’d loved dressing up to the nines, eating gourmet foods, and I had worn the colors of the seasons on the makeup on my face, and, as I marched through half a century, I’d let go of these worldly baggage one by one, started living differently.  Those books I didn’t have the time for, I’d started, reading them now, and found my long-lost interests back again, and I’d, gotten into cooking, retrained my able hands too.

pickign up on the hobbies here, not my photograph…

With the silver strands in my hair, reflected upon the sweat from my exercise, the daily life from the fifties, are ordinary, fulfilling.

So, this woman is, finally settled, at the age of fifty, she’d started, living a brand new way, more relaxed, started picking up on the hobbies she used to have but never had the time for when she worked, and that is a fully packed retirement for her.

The Sign on My Back, Ways to Tackle Becoming Forgetful

Scared of forgetting things, could it be, an early sign of dementia?  Or, could it be, that there’s, just too many things we’re, keeping in mind, that one or two had, “slipped”???  Translated…

“Honey, looks like I’m going to have to post something on your back as a reminder today.”  As I woke up in the morn, my wife hollered out at me.  I’d asked her what’s up, she’d smiled and told me, “While I was making breakfast, I’d suddenly, forgotten what I was about to do next, and no matter how hard I’d tried, I can’t remember it, could it be, that I’m already, demented?”

“Dementia?  Don’t exaggerate.”  I’d laughed, “Last night you were just telling me, that there’s a CD due today, that you’re going to, withdraw it from the banks………”, after she’d heard, she’d realized, that she’d told me this, and tapped her head with her fingers, “Yes, yes, that’s it!  Oh, I’d still needed to………”, she looked troubled in thought, like she can’t remember something else.

okay, mayne NOT that overboard!!!  Photo from online…

“Let’s do it this way,” I’d recommended to her, “Why don’t you do like I do, have a notebook handy, and write everything you need to do down, or, just use the Post-It notes and stick it on the fridge, that way, you will NEVER need to worry about forgetting anything!”

“We’re together every single day, or, I should, post that stick-it note on your back, like those cue boards for the actors and actresses, that way, I’d known what I’m going to do.”  My wife still wanted me to do as she said, posting the notes on my back, she’d’ continued, “You know what, there was a famous media personnel after her mother was diagnosed with dementia, she’d stated, ‘what made me the saddest was how my mother forgot our shared memories, it’s, the worst kind of punishment.’”

The worst kind of punishment?  This was, shocking to me, and I’d recalled my eldest cousin who’d worked as a school teacher for thirty-nine years.  Only a few short years after his retirement, one morning, after he walked out of the house, and in a few short steps, had forgotten how to get back home, clearly, that, was the signs of Alzheimer’s; not long thereafter, his condition worsened, it’s small matter that he’d forgotten things, what’s worse was he’d wanted to ram out of the house, rushed to school.  Although the families tried stopping him, he’d still found his way, to “sneak” out.  And yet, after he got out, he’d become, disoriented, the family worried he might be in an accident, and started the cycles of “finding the lost” daily.

like this???  Not my picture…

“Posting a note on my back is only temporary,” I’d smiled and told my wife, “Why don’t you give your brain exercises, like through reading, practicing calligraphy, or, get involved with line dancing, that, would be the best way to prevent yourself from forgetting!”

She’d nodded, and told me that she will, otherwise, it would be, regrettable for her in the future, if she’d, forgotten, this past we’d, once shared.

So, it is, normal that we start to forget things as we get older, and, because dementia IS the common cold of old age, everybody is scared, and, there’s no need to feel alarmed if you can’t remember things, after all, we’re still, processing a TON of information from a day-to-day basis, and, not being able to recall the slightest details, is only normal, we’re NOT computers or machines here!!!

Another Segment of the Journey

Learning, to cope with the parents’ dementia, translated…

In one’s life, there are things, that we wish we could forget, but the more we’d tried to forget them, the closely, they’d, followed behind, especially those painful experiences in our lives. We’d wanted to forget about all that’s painful, but we’d, greedily, desired others to remember us too, because being remembered, is what made us feel we mattered.

Looking at my parents who’d both become demented, forgetting all of our names, along with ALL the memories associated with us, all of a sudden, I’d, come to understand, that “forgetting” is a hurtful word, a torturing feeling.

For my demented parents, every moment was like a first, the same questions being asked, tried our patience; and still, toward the young children’s repeated inquiries, the adults felt that they’re, very cute and naïve. Actually, there’s, no call for patience, just take out that glasses that’s with an alternative perspective, then, everything will be, smoother.

After my parents became demented, they’d never, acting according to the scripts given to them, to the point, of crazy, and none of us could, handle them, we are only able to, follow behind them, to clean up the messes they’d, made. But, as my parents grow older, their mind had, regressed back to that of children’s, if we’d looked at dementia through this perspective, then, maybe, “not remembering”, “hard to control” would become, easier to cope with, and that everything they did, was not to make us suffer, that it was, only, a part, of this, journey to life.

So, this, is on how a person can adjust her/his mindset, in coping with the parents becoming demented, because, dementia is becoming, the common cold of the elderly years right now, and, if we don’t learn to adapt to our parents’ whacked out behaviors, then, we’re only making it harder on ours

The Vision of My Self at Seventy

A role model, for the younger generation, aging, with grace, translated…

While I was still a child, I’d thought, that thirty-five is old, and as I’d arrived to this age, I’d felt, that fifty is old; and now, I’m, knocking on fifty, I’d felt, that midlife, isn’t really, that old at all. What’s meant by elderly, I suppose, it’s, over seventy! By then, I would’ve totally become, visually impaired, slowly immobilized, and can only, move around and about closer to my house, and I won’t be able to, go around as I’m doing right now.

And still, since I’d started keeping a vegetable garden at Danshui, and gotten to know my next door neighbor, Aunty Chen, it’d, given me, a whole other interpretation of what being elderly meant.

a person at her seventies 的圖片結果like this elderly woman, NOT my photograph…

At age seventy-something, Auntie Chen was once, the owner of a printing factory. She’d worked very hard through the years, and saved up some money, and lost it all in the last economic downturn, she’d started, living in regrets, until a friend asked her to keep a vegetable garden, that, was when she finally saw the light back into her own life.

Through planting the vegetables, Aunty Chen realized, that although there are, storms in nature, so long as you don’t get too greedy, you wouldn’t lose too much; on the contrary, so long as you put all your heart into planting, what you’d gained in your harvests, are way more than what you’d put in, that the gains are, better than ALL of the possible stock and options. Take for instance, her passion fruits, last year, the weather was weird, a lot of the fruit farmers didn’t have good harvests, but, her trees were, fruitful.

But, if you think that she’d slaved herself, to grow enough produce, then, you are, DEAD wrong. She has a group of girlfriends her age, which she’d called on, to go hiking with, to travel with; yesterday, I’d visited her in her garden, Aunty Chen told me, that today and tomorrow, she’s planning to go on a trip to Taidong, to hike the Dulang Mountains.

elderly, living an active lifestyle 的圖片結果keeping active is one way to stay healthy in the elderly years, NOT my photograph…

Every now and then, Auntie Chen would volunteer at the not-for-profit organizations, like she has extra arms, and so, from before, imagine how shocked I was, when she’d told me, that she’s not, in good health.

Seeing how Aunty Chen in her seventies, still very active in her life, I’d gained, a different vision, for my own elderly years now.

So, this elderly woman, is a role model, for how this writer want to grow old to become, and this woman has a positive outlook for her own elderly years, filled up her schedule with tons of activities she enjoyed, that, is why she’s, fulfilled, even though she’s now, retired.

A Classmate from Middle School

Remembering a good friend, giving her a call, getting reconnected with each other, translated…

Back in middle school, every time I’d gone to a friend’s house, she’d always stuffed things into my backpack. Mostly, they were cookies, or candies; the most impressive time was when she’d stuffed that packed up lunch into my backpack! She’d always stuffed the items into my backpack secretively, thinking I wouldn’t know it.

Once, it was, time for me to head home, I’d picked up my deformed backpacks, quickly put my hand into it, and, pulled out TWO super-sized apples, more expensive than TWO packed lunches, I’d hollered out to her, “Are you serious?”

best friends from middle school…NOT my photo…

I’d never turned her kindness down, because I’d treated her like she was, my very best friend. It’s just, even until now, I still can’t quite figure out, why it is, that she’d always, stuffed things into my backpack.

After we took our separate entrance exams for high school, we’d moved away from each other, due to the environmental changes we were faced with. I’d gone farther away to school, while she’d stayed closer to home. From being young and naïve to aged and more weathered, from home to the distant lands, over decades had come to pass, all the time that’s passed, made me forget about her name, and all that remained of my memories of her, was that huge red apple.

These past two years, I’d moved back to my hometown, found a house to set it up as my workshop. After I’d settled down, I’d passed through that parking lot at the end of the street, and, the past memories that’s already misplaced, all came back—this empty lot before me, was it where her home used to be? And so, I’d asked my landlord about it, and he’d told me.

And, don’t know why, but my landlord was keener to find her than I was, immediately, he’d taken out his categorized business card folder, “I’d printed out every single one of them in this community, I have confidence, to find her for you!”, before his voice finished, I recalled her name, and, my middle school years became defrosted from that five by seven photo frame, and, her figure became, clearer, she’d passed through this tunnel of time, toward me now.

the way we were…NOT my photo…

“Found it!”, the landlord recited a series of number aloud, and, started dialing like I wasn’t even there. I was so unprepared, and panickily, grabbed my own hair, but, my hand took the phones.

“Hello, is so-and-so there?”

“This is she.”

“Uh…I went to the same middle school as you.”

“I know.”

“You sure?”

“I really do know.”

“I’d moved back, I want to see you. I’m close to your former residence!”

“Oh, but I’m really busy.”

“Uh…………”

“I never changed, and worked at the same office for twenty years, it’ll be easy for you to come find me, it would be hard, for me to find you, I suppose? But, I really don’t have the time, I’d needed to go to the hospitals to look after my father morning and evening, or that I’m rushing off to work, I can’t even find the spare time to go to the bathrooms, and the most important thing when I get home is to sleep. I really need to sleep.”

I’d stuttered and told her goodnight, hung up the phone. Felt those knots inside of my body, very tangled, felt, that I should, NEVER intrude on her precious time to sleep, to have her accompany me.

Turns out, the years that were, so carelessly spent away by me, my neglecting to catch up with her, as I’d found it, it’d become, an extravagance already, and now, she’d been baptized by time, turned into a strong woman, no longer was she, that tiny-voiced middle school classmate who’d pulled and tugged on my shirt sleeves any longer………

after the years…

best friends reunited 的圖片結果

I’d become, lost in deep thought. And yet, five minutes later, a message came from my cell, “So glad you’d thought of me, I miss you too.” Then, there was that rabbit, holding the hands of a girl with bangs, turning around in circles picture.

The surges of warmth overcame me, as I’d pinched onto the number I got from my landlord, I’d thought, the next time, I shall, take advantage of the conversation. Ah! I’ll start by asking her, “hey, why do you always stuff the goodies into my backpack!” as a conversation starter then.

So, this, is the kindness that you were shown, in your younger years, and, this other girl, your classmate learned that your family economics isn’t that well, and so, she’d stuffed those items to make your life easier, and, you’d kept that in mind, and now, you two had finally, reconnected, there’s, a lot of catching up to do, because so many things happened while you two were separated…