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.

Advertisements

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!

Enjoying Being an Elderly Backpacker, Life in the Elderly Years

Realizations about you and your parents, now that they’re, elderly, translated…

The only season I feel leisurely is in the springtime, and so, I’d made a date with my parents over eighty years of age, that we shall, head out to travel every single springtime.  In recent years, we’d selected the self-help trips to Japan, my father who was educated by the Japanese spoke fluently, and said that it’s, as if, he’d found the younger version of himself that’s worked at the Japanese trading companies again, that he’d wanted to be a backpacker, plan out his own trips, enriching his own life.

Last year, we’d gone to Setouchi, and drove around, one day we’d spent the afternoon, underneath the olive trees by the beach, my dad suddenly told me, he’d not felt this leisurely for sixty years.  My father started a business from the ground, and worked hard for the family’s economics; several years ago, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and my eldest brother who was just over forty had a stroke, and the family spent years in misery afterwards.  Pops told me, from before, he’d thought that having daughters is a cost, and he’d harshly disciplined my eldest sister and I hard, but now, looking at us, he’d felt, that he’d been, too strict toward us back then.

sharing these cherished moments togehter on trips they’d shared, not my photograph…

From when we were younger, my sister had I had, complained of how harshly we were treated by him, that he’d favored our brother more than us.  Although my father didn’t marry down to my mother’s family, but my older brother and youngest brother took my mother’s family last name, and perhaps it’s because of this, my dad demanded more of my older sister and I; in order to show ourselves, we’d both believed, that whether it be in school, or at work, we shouldn’t, lose to the boys, and I’d heard my father’s talking about that that day, and, it’s, as if all those years of misunderstanding, got, resolved instantly.

In my memories, we’d rarely gone out on overnight trips as a family, after all, our household finances are just breaking even, and the fees for the travels aren’t something small; and now, we’d gotten the abilities to take our parents on trips, and, on some levels, it’d, helped us make up for not going out together as a family when we were children.

a family vacation in progress here, not my photograph still…

As we’d gone on the New Japanese Railways from the north to the south, I watched my parents walking slowly on the platforms, it’d made me realized, how fast, they’re, aging; those adults who’d once, helped us walk, who’d held our bicycles still so we can keep our balances, they’re no longer, the adults who can help us out whenever we’re in trouble now; and, while they’re still mobile, I’d wanted to take them all over to travel, to make more memories of us together.

Not only just for my parents, I too, am slowly, marching toward the elderly years as well, and, I’d needed to, make my own adaptations accordingly.  I’d agreed with mom and dad, that every spring, we shall, go out, as elderly backpackers, and continued having these trips without the itineraries.

So, traveling with your aging parents made you realized, how little time you have left with them, which made you cherish each and every single moment all of you shared, and this made you realize, that you’d needed to, spend more time with your elderly parents, because nobody KNOWS how many more years they may have left, so, you’re, taking advantage of every moment you shared with your families.

An Elderly Demented Dog & a Young Child

The process of growing old, in a pet, the interaction the dog shared with the owner’s grandson, as dementia slowly, set in, translated…

Kai May Have Felt Confused at that Young Child Who Started Living in the House, and So, He’d Followed Him Around, Watched His Every Single Move, But Had, Refused, to Get Closer to the Child………

Kai, the Mean Girl

As my grandson was born, Kai was already eight; she was a stray that my daughter brought home, a female.  She’d told me, that she’d found a litter of puppies that an adult female had given birth to, and all the other puppies were taken away, only a small white puppy was crouched in the corners, shivering and quivering, so malnourished, so tiny, not yet the size of her palms, covered in dirt, with the hair not full, looked like she was, hard to keep, even the mother had, abandoned this young puppy, vanished, without a trace, and if she didn’t take her home, she is probably going to die.

As my daughter took her in to get her shots, the vet guessed that she was a Chihuahua mix, all I know, is that she’s never been easy to get along, a dog that everybody called “mean”.  My husband said, hinting, “This is a house full of mean ladies, naturally, the female dog that came out of this house, would be mean too.”

you can ftell if the dog is elderly by the way it looked…not my photograph…

It isn’t easy, to get close to Kai, but she’s alert and full of responsibility, every day, she’d kept the ground, marching back and forth continuously in the house.  We lived on the second floor, whenever there came unfamiliar footsteps from the entrance of our apartment on the first floor, she’d started growling in a low voice; if strangers were close to our front doors, she’d started barking incessantly, and would use her front paws to scratch at the front door, she could scare the outsiders away, from inside the house.

Nine years later, my daughter married, and Kai stayed in our house.

Before she married, I’d complained, on how Kai had shed too hard, and the hair was all over the places, but after she’d married, don’t know if there’s nobody who’d talked back to me while I’d, nagged, or that she’d lived away, my days became, cleared up, and, I’d, complained, less and less.

After my daughter gave birth to her son, she’d wanted to resume working again, and she’d worried about the nannies from outside, and took her son home to me to watch.  I’d worried, that the germs on the dog would be back for the infant, so, before my grandson was a year old, I’d always, locked Kai inside the bedrooms, wouldn’t let her near the baby.  Actually, since she came to live with us, she’d not, made her way out of the house, and lived her life as a pampered pet.  But, loving my grandson dearly, I’d intended, to raise my grandson, my way, nobody else has a say.

 

As he’d started to walk, Kai received her right to walk around the living room again.  She may be a bit confused at this little man who suddenly showed up at my house, and so, she’d followed him around, watched him closely, but chose, to stay away from him.  If my daughter tried getting her closer to my grandson, she’d shown her teeth, refused to share any sort of intimacy with him.  But, it’s, quite odd, whenever the adults weren’t watching, she’d, started, following him around again.  Several times, my grandson had tripped and fallen in an out-of-sight corner of the house, she’d started jumping up and down, barking loudly, to get our attention.

A Beautiful Misunderstanding

As my grandson entered into kindergarten, Kai was already ten years old, no longer was she energetic like she was when she was younger, she’d become, an elderly woman now, just loved sleeping on her specialty dog mattress.  But at this time, my grandson became this, naughty little boy, started exploring the world, and learned to use his pranks, to show us that he’s there.  Other than climbing onto the couch in the living room, the supper table, the stove, leaping downward, he’d started using the drapes as a double bar, especially, he’d loved, picking at Kai, used newspaper, or clothes, waved them in front of her face, or, threw those rubber balls, or fruits toward her.  Kai normally ignored him, and, would get up lazily, and moved elsewhere, but if she really got annoyed with him, she’d barked loudly, then, shown her teeth, and, that little brat would have the shit scared out of him, and cried for grandma.

For this, my grandson didn’t love Kai at all, he’d felt, that she’d never looked at him straight, wouldn’t like hi.

But every time as the adults used a stick, to attempt to discipline my way too naughty grandson, no matter where Kai was sleeping, she’d immediately, rushed to the individual with the stick and started barking so loudly at the person, she’d jumped up and bite the stick held by the person.

The elderly dog, and the young child not being on amicable terms, didn’t get improved, until a few months before Kai’s death.

Kai was older than seventeen when she’d died, the vet said, exchanging it into human years, she’s, an elderly woman at over age eighty.  Back then, she’d become blind because of cataracts, couldn’t tell the directions, lost her hearing too, walked with hardship, constantly bumped into the furniture.  What’s worse was, she’d become, demented too, lost ALL her flairs from before.

圖/倩illustration from the papers…

And yet, the gap between her and my grandson, disappeared completely.

From before, she wouldn’t allow him to hold her, after she’d become demented, Kai would quietly, allowed my grandson to hug on her as he watched television.  During that period of time, the demented dog, and that naughty little brat would, silently, get close to each other on the couch, to watch television together, and, there was, that hard-to-come-by serenity in the house.

The little brat is too happy, he’d held tight to Kai, hollered aloud, “Kai liked me now, she’d allowed me to hold her now, it means she liked me!”, the adults were glad, but also, heart felt, unwilling, and not knowing how, to explain to a third-grader, that Kai was elderly, and demented, so, she’d become, confused; she’d lain in your lap without objections, it’s because she doesn’t really know who you are now.

Since Kai allowed my grandson to get near her, after school, he wouldn’t let go of her, not allowing anybody else to get close; he’d placed her on his lap as he worked on his assignments, had her lain on the bench where he’d sat as he practiced piano, and placed her nearby when he ate his meals, and, would have her in his lap when he watched television or played video games, perhaps, only at bath time, would he, let go of Kai, so she’d, lain outside on the placemat of the bathrooms.

They were so close now, it’d made my daughter and I worried, and glad, we’re glad, that my grandson finally learned to get along with the pet of the family, but worried, that as their bond became tighter, Kai’s days grew shorter; for a young child who had yet to comprehend death, how heartbreaking it would be, at the moment when they get separated by life and death.

What eventually will come, had cone.

The day before Kai died, she’d fallen into a comatose, and my grandson still held on to her, told her of the ins and outs of school.  The very next day, as he’d returned home from school, Kai was already cremated by my daughter’s orders.  Toward the adults’ explanation of death and the crematorium, the child became confused, and started crying hard, and, he’d isolated himself for a long while.

The intimacy Kai had shared with my grandson a few months before she passed away, it’s a beautiful misunderstanding, that was made possible by not understanding life of the child, and the dog’s losing her bodily functions.

But it’s, also, a cherished affinity.

So, this dog went from being so fierce toward the owner’s young grandson, to becoming inseparable with him, and this showed the progressions of dementia in any living thing, because toward the final stages, the demented individual no longer recognized anybody, and, became amicable with everybody s/he comes into contact with.

Changing Your Minds, Getting Along Better with Your Partners in Life, on How to Get Along with One Another

How to get along better with each other, now that it’s just, the two of you that’s left?  Translated…

My husband and I became like roommates, we’d, kept at our own separate televisions, and during mealtime, I’d, hollered out, “Tenant from upstairs, food is served!”, after the tenant finished his food, he’d headed upstairs, continued watching his basketball game.  And, mealtime and sleep, are the two times of the day, the two parallels we’d become, intersected.

The rule of thumb I’m living by is, not forcing things onto myself, nor onto others.  When we found ourselves in argument, I’d found a strategy, take action, not get angry, or waste ANY energies.  If my husband angered me, then, I don’t cook, it’s not, as if, I’m up for the employee of the month, and, by so, I’m teaching him, that he’s the one who’d lost, offending me, only then, would he, adjust his own behaviors.  He could easily, act stubbornly, wear a soured face, he’s the one getting laughed at, I wouldn’t start nagging him at all, I will NEVER find troubles for myself.

all you’re, left with, NOT my photo…

He’d said I’d talked too loud, but, that, is how large the volume my voice is, and now, whenever friends come, I’d told him, to “duck out”.  If he was insistent on being around, then, I’d still carried on conversation with my friends, I’d already warned him beforehand, it was his own choice, to not head out if he didn’t want to hear me talk.

We all have our different traits, like someone with irritable bowel syndrome, would you, tell her/him, NOT go to the bathroom so many times?  So, that stuffed up type A man, I’d, done as accordingly, I chose, to respect his “irritable bowel syndromes”.

I can, choose NOT to get angry toward the arguments we can’t escape from.  For instance those old issues we’d never agreed on, no need to discuss them, or get stressed out by them.  If toothpaste is a source of argument, then, get one tube each, so long as it’s not life-or-death matters, just let him be.

When I want to shop, I’d called on my girlfriends, when I want to see a movie, I’d find someone who’s also a movie fanatic like me, being accompanied by someone who makes you happy, that, is what’s most important; as for you, hubby, as long as you’d worked those nightshifts as the security guard, I’d be satisfied, why must you demand he take up other roles?

Try to break the stringent rules of your own cognitions, there are more options in life, as the thoughts changed, the problems find a way to resolve themselves.  You need to tolerate each other’s differences, to not cross over that boundary, to find a comfortable interaction pattern that both of you can live with.  War or peace, it’s up to you to choose!

you do your thing, I do mine!  Not my photo…

So, this woman is sharing her years of experience, of being married to her husband, they are quite different, with various hobbies, and, as they got older, they started living like parallel lines, and, there’s nothing wrong with that, so long as the two of you respected the boundaries set by one another, not pushing each other’s buttons too hard, then, you will get along just fine, even AS the kids leave home!

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…