It’s Too Late Now, to Make Amends…

I just want to tell you, how sorry I truly am! Well, you know what, it’s not, “registering”, ‘cuz, that wall that can block out ALL the noises is finally, erect!

It’s too late now, to make amends, I know, but, I still want to let you know, just how sorry I truly am, for hurting you, so, won’t you forgive me already? NO!!!

It’s too late now, to make amends, time didn’t stand still, and I’m no longer as young (or NAÏVE for that matter!!!) as I’d been from before, and everything is, no longer the same between us…

It’s too late now, to make amends, I don’t expect you to forgive me, for what I’d done to you, to our family, but I hope, that as time passes, you’ll be able to, find it in your heart, to say that you forgive me.

It’s too late now, to make amends, because, until you can get H.G. Wells to build that TIME MACHINE, to RELIVE those moments of your regrets, to do something differently, to ALTER the outcomes of our lives, then, there ain’t, NO chance.

It’s too late now, to make amends, I just hope, that all the people I’d, unintentionally MURDERED will find it in their souls, to just, forgive me……

Uh, yeah right, and, DUDES, GET real here!!!

 

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The Grass is Always Greener

the grass is always greener 的圖片結果like this???  Photo from online…

On getting along in love, in family, on knowing yourselves, translated…

Yi-Hwa was, once again, missing from our reunion. Everybody believed that I was closest to her, and asked me why she didn’t show? Actually, it’d been, very difficult, for me, to just, meet up with her these days.

At the beginning of last year, we’d carried on in conversation in her million-dollar decorated home, Yi-Hwa wore her frown so deep, with so many knots inside of her. Her mother-in-law gives her a hard time every single day, and her husband always, sided with his own mother, her own parents were, demented, like, the layers, of the heavy burdens were, all on top of her. The studio she had in her house, where she’d painted and written calligraphy in, it’d, no longer, give her any pleasures anymore.

“We’d discussed divorce.” Yi-Hwa told me lightly. They were in love for seven long years before they’d wed, they were, the it couple in everybody’s belief, and, he’d, said such an awful thing, it was, truly, shocking to us all! “My husband is too complying as a son!”, could it be, that her husband was, divorcing her, on his own mother’s pleas?

Just like the primetime soaps, thankfully, they were both, rational about the matter, they’d not really, gotten divorced.

“I regretted not working the most after I married”, Yi-Hwa has a husband who’d earned a lot of money, she’d taken herself to an assortment of talent courses, picked up on a lot of hobbies, this was what I, a working housewife envied the most about her; can’t believe, that my working hard every single day in the workforce, was he dream, of her, who’d been, blessed with being taken care of.

There was a Japanese female writer who wrote, “The Neighbor’s Lawn”, it was about how everybody always envied someone else, felt, that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I don’t know if this would be fitting with my and Yi-Hwa’s situations in life, but when I’m stressed out about money for the family, I’d become, very envious of Yi-Hwa, who’d never needed to worry over money; and as Yi-Hwa was trapped in the hardships of getting along with her mother-in-law, she’d, envied how I can work outside my home, to dispose of herself being labeled as unproductive.

how it looked, photo from online…查看來源圖片

Turns out, nothing is perfect in the world, if everybody looks at what they’d lacked, aren’t we all, making troubles for ourselves? We all have different lessons we’re to learn in life, so, let us, put up all our worries, and cherish what we have already.

And, that, is how we all want what we don’t have, and, we’re, always, envying someone else, because unless we live their lives, we don’t know the hardships in someone else’s life.

Working Together to Help Each Other Age More Gracefully, Neither Felt Lonely on the Journey of Life

In sickness AND in health, for better or for worse, the dedications, and love this woman had for her husband, now that he’d become, demented, translated…

After I’d married my husband, I’d focused on my family, looking after our three sons, so my husband didn’t have to worry when he’s working.

In his elderly years, after he had surgeries for his colon cancer, he’d changed to a different man, became forgetful, at first, I’d thought it was a normal process of aging, but after I took him to the Alzheimer’s clinic, the doctor diagnosed him as “beginning stage of dementia”.

He’s not completely helpless, going out for strolls in the morning became his way of exercise, I’d often played the game of numbers with him, “Chinese chess” was one of them, I’d picked up any piece and asked him, and he’d answered me correctly, he’d not written as legibly as he used to, but it’s still readable. After he’d started in art, I’d written my love for him on the sides of the papers, took care of him with empathy, just stay beside him.

My kids also took the two of us outdoors often, and he became like an “old baby”, so happy, and, with the help from nature, it’d somehow, slowed down the progressions of his Alzheimer’s.

For this hospitalization for my chemotherapy, I’d run a fever, which caused pneumonia, in my nineteen days of hospital stays, he’d ridden his small bicycle back and forth, on the two hour round trips, never complained, just stayed by my side, it seemed, that he still remembered how much I put in, to care for him for these past six years, and now, he’d not, given up on me either.

The Department of Sanitary Welfare’s Long-Term Care 2.0 was designated for elderly over sixty-five who’d lost the ability to live on their own, which allowed for the four-hour homecare helper, and, we don’t fit the criteria, that was why, there are so many tragedies that’s happened, because of elderly caretaking.

I’d volunteered at the long-term care center on Mondays, helping the elders put on makeup, hoping that putting their lipsticks on can help make them recall, I’d taken the courses provided by the local governments to enrich my knowledge base on helping with my husband’s dementia, and all of these things that I’d done, are to give myself breathing room, a break from having to take care of my demented husband 24/7.

So, this, is once again, from the caretakers’ journals, and, this woman didn’t leave her husband in a nursing home somewhere, because he was there when she went through her hell with her cancer, and now, he’d needed her more than ever, she surely wasn’t going to, desert him in some nursing home either.

Happy Graduation

Seeing her child come of age, the thoughts of a mother, translated…

It’s, as if in a daze, the roads turned bumpy, I’d focused my eyes, and, those originally familiar looking streets, became, so unfamiliar, and I’d raised up my left hand to ring the bell, with my right arm, slung my backpack on my shoulders, rushed off the bus, the bus sped off behind me, I’d focused, and, hollered aloud, “Ahhhhhhhhh, my temperature bag………”, leaving this defeated “hen” standing all alone, on the busy streets of Taipei.

I’d still had this sort of dreams every now and then.

That was the summer, many, many, many years ago, as I’d just become a mother. This feeling was like being late for a major exam I’d had when I was younger, and after I woke in cold sweat, I’d realized, that I was, already, out of school.

My son, in his infancy, as he heard my version of “Little Kitty Cat” for mealtime, “Mimi, darling/Mimi, my baby/come drink the milk, come drink the milk/here’s, that yummy milk for you………”, he’d wiggled his body with excitement, and get himself closer to my breasts, and worked hard to suckle. Being taken in with his motions, I was, enjoying being a mother then, without realizing, that more trials were coming my way.

這天,我憶起過往,細數這段上課「食光」,許多美好的回憶取代曾經的跌跌撞撞,耳畔迴...the trials this woman faced, raising her son up…illustrations from the papers online…

At first, my son didn’t quite understand how to suckle, and used his gums, and bit down hard, and, my loud “OUCH!” thrilled him, it’d made me start crying. The nurses’ care and concerns got turned into the barking dogs in the late of night, and I can, only run scatter into the dark streets. As my baby couldn’t get enough sustenance, and cried like hell, it’d, forced me to choose my mother-in-law’s breastmilk production recipes of: peanuts stewed with pork’s feet, the sea bass soups, the assortments of Chinese herbal remedies, along with the milking teas out there………

And as the neighbors discussed, “Is her son having enough to drink?” “Breastmilk only works for the first few weeks of life! Breastfeeding this long will only tax your energies!”, my mother said, “Before bedtime, he needs the formulas! He will get hungry fast, and you’d have to stay awake through the night, to feed him!” And, even though there’s care and concern hidden there, behind her words, it’d felt hurtful to me.

Many years ago, the breastfeeding places in public and in the offices aren’t that prevalent, I’d had to work in the daytime, and I’d needed to go and breastfeed my son in the smelly restrooms; as I’d gone on business trips, I’d had to send my bagged up breast milk home by service. I’d had a childrearing volume in my left, the tools in my right hand, worked hard at it, and finally, I’d become, good at it. But, how much of these earliest memories of feeding would my child ever actually recall? I really can’t tell, and still, this would be a special memory that’s shared by me and him alone.

On this day, I’d recalled the past, and, counted out the memories, and, the nursery rhyme “Kitty Cat” came accompanying the fast-beat graduation tunes.

So, this is, tracking the milestones of your child’s growth, as you’d become a mother, you’d gone through some hardships in life, and yet, now, your son is an adult now, and, it made you realize, that all the hardships in your life previously had been, more than worth it.

The Days I’d Lived as My Daddy’s “Mistress”

Her daddy’s little girl, translated…

My father went with the armies in 1949, floated across the seas to Taiwan, and, stayed single for eighteen years, then, had his children, I was a piece of his heart, and during his weekends home, he’d always, lifted me up over his shoulders, so I can, look at this colorful world from a bird’s eye view.  The elderly woman from the military retirement village, Tu made fun, “Xiang, you’re treating your daughter like he’s your mistress, aren’t you!”, at the age of three, I’d, innocently repeated, “I am daddy’s mistress!”

the precious love between a father and a daughter, photo from online…a daddy and his baby girl 的圖片結果

My father’s “first” wife worked hard, to keep the family budgets, while his “mistress” got served her meals, waited on hand and foot, I’d gotten all my father’s love, before my father took off his army uniform, his voice saying, “Where’s that mistress of mine?” came echoing.

Uncle Lu from Sandong opened up a noodle shop after he retired from the army in our village, the small wonton was my favorite, and, not knowing how the characters sounded, I’d mistakenly sounded wonton as “bastard”, and since then, “I’m taking my mistress out to have some bastards!” became my father’s call as he took me out.

In the first grade, my school teacher made us go on the podium to tell about our favorite foods, I’d told the class, I’d loved having “bastards” the most, and, the teacher as well as the students all opened up their eyes wide and inquired, “what IS that?”, the minced pork, wrapped with the flattened dough, like the clouds, floating in the soups, tasted slippery and aromatic, I’d used my limited vocabulary, and described it, then, my teacher got it, “oh, that’s call wonton!”, and, I’d called wontons bastards for four years on end, and nobody bothered to, correct me!

After school, I’d told my father righteously, the correct way to call the food, and that “bastard” is something you say when you insult someone else that we shouldn’t, say it at all, and ever since, my father changed his words, and “I’m taking my mistress out for wonton!”, my father had the large bowl of wonton noodle soup, and I had the large bowl of wonton soup, with the red bean buns.

Back then, there were only three T.V. stations, other than the cartoons, Mr. Bao, and the sword-fight soap “Bodyguard”, there’s, no other form of eight o’clock prime time soap, and everybody matured later, until in our first year of middle school, did we all learn, that “mistress” was a term, given to a homewrecker.  And, I’d gone home, and gave it straight to my father, I’m not a mistress, I’m your little girl.  And then, my father lost his younger mistress who’d climb onto his knees, and only the wife who grilled him every now and then.

When he said, “Honey, have some wonton.”  I’d told him I wanted to go read comics with my friends, to ride bicycles, to head to the libraries, and the era of eating the wontons, ended, with Uncle Lu passing away, the noodle shop closing, my father got older by the day, and I, busier and busier.

Slowly, he’d, forgotten a lot of things, started hunching his back, becoming bald, turned into, a little old man, and, his empty gazes drifted toward the distances, he’d gotten lost, in his own world now, sometimes, he was in China in his home, sometimes, he’s serving the army in Taoyuan, sometimes, he was helping to build the reservoirs……and sometimes, I’m, nobody he knew.

the special relationship of a daddy and his baby girl…photo from online

Sitting on the chair in the yard, he’d carried that pampering tone of voice, with that smile in his eyes, said to me, “Mistress, let’s go and have some bastards!”, “Sure, let’s go!”, I’d buried my teary face in my father’s knees, I’d returned back to when I was three, when my father, was my heaven and earth again.

So this is the parallel of aging of the daughter, and the father, they were both, growing “up”, it’s just, that as the daughter became more and more independent, the father became feebler and feebler, and now, the woman became his father’s “mistress” for certain, looking after him, taking him to places, like he’d taken her everywhere when she was a little girl too.

The Changes in Dad

Making an adjustment to one’s own beliefs, and making a change for the better, translated…

Dad’s been visiting the furniture shops a lot lately, turns out, he’d wanted to switch the double bed in his bedroom that he’d shared with mom into two single beds.  Sleeping separately from mom, was a huge breakthrough for him, who’s very traditional, and, it’d, surprised us all.

A few years ago when my dad started getting ill, mom started wanted to sleep separately, because both their qualities of sleep weren’t so well, and they’d needed the sleeping pills to help them sleep at night; and after my father fell ill, he’d become, emotionally unstable, would get up a lot in the middle of the nights, causing mom’s to sleep even worse.  And, fearing dad’s bad tempers, she’d, kept everything in.

In order to help mom out, I’d found an excuse, to shop for the drapes, to change up the settings of their bedrooms, hoping to make them both more comfortable, but, it didn’t help at all.  Perhaps, dad found my signal, that was why, he’d made this, unexpected decision; although mom said it wasn’t that big a deal, but, she’d looked, softer now.  The changes in dad, it’d made us realized, that he can, be a gentle man too.

So, the gestures of love of this man toward his wife, finally came, and, because the man realized, that he’d, kept his wife awake through the nights, and, that was what probably caused a lot of their fights, and, sleeping well is the key, to a healthy lifestyle, and so, this man made a change, to help improve the interactions between his wife and himself.

As I’d Slowly Discovered

The stories of coming of age, from a school instructor’s perspectives, translated…

I’m a math instructor in a school, but I’d loved reading the essays of my students’, although all my colleagues called the writings “materials of bad influences”, with the misspelled words, not clear topics, that it’s not for someone with hypertension, or a heart condition to thumb through.  But, every time when it came my term, to oversee the essay exams, after I’d collected the test papers, I’d always, taken the time, to sort through the students’ writings piece by piece, then, give them back to the Chinese instructors to grade.  Perhaps it’s because I only need to read, and not grade or make comment, there wasn’t that many signs of distress I’d experienced from this.

Once, the topic was “As I’d Slowly Discovered”, the test taker was a last year student, and, the essay had the friendships, the filial relations, the love, the betrayal in it.

Someone wrote on how s/he was raised by a military, authoritarian way at home, but one day, his mother stopped bothering with him suddenly, no longer helped him with getting the foods he ate, to let the writer choose on her/his own, and suddenly, s/he’d felt, that “I’m already grown!”, and started learning to take care of oneself.

One student wrote about how a classroom got along seemingly well, but within it, were actually, the cliques that kept, calculating, and manipulating each other, so the writer chose to not participate in it, and didn’t care if s/he was, isolated, and didn’t mind if s/he was labeled as being difficult, just refused, to get in the midst of it all.  Through that article, I’d gotten a better understanding, of what the students who are lowkey were experiencing in the class.

Most students wrote about the contrasts of how they’re getting older, with their parents, aging by the days, some were grateful for the parents taking them everywhere.  Some were grateful that their parents worked hard, that although the parents were there when the students were younger, but the parents provided them with a life without the economic worries; it’s just, that if the hands of time can be turned backwards, they’d still hoped, that their parents can save more time for them.

Toward that article on how the writer’s older brother passed away from illness, fearing her mother feeling upset, the girl that swallowed all her tears, was originally, a very bright and happy young woman, and after reading her essay, I’d learned, why she’d been wearing that frown for so long.  I’d felt awful, that this young woman needed to cope with how her older brother had passed away—I’d gotten to experience this sort of a heartache when I was in the second year of college, but I wasn’t as strong as she, the day I’d received the news, I’d started crying unstop.

Reading the essays of all these students, I’d noted, how they were, slowly coming of age, like how I’d turned into the lecturer, from once being a student sitting in the classrooms; from the son who was taken to school by his father, to a father who now, chauffeurs his own son to school.  Turning around, realizing, that this, is how we all, grow up.

So, this teacher noted the things in the lives of his students, that he wouldn’t have known, had he not read their essays, and these students, although very young, some had already had a vast spectrum of experiences with life and death, heartbreak, and all of these will become, nutrients in their process of growing up into adults!