An Unspoken Love

Love isn’t spoken here, but it surely is, shown!  Translated…

My close friend told me, she’d regretted not having told her father that she loved him, until her father got to the end of his life, on the verge of dying, did she, speak out this “confession” of hers, that’s gotten no replies back.

I do believe, that I’m, blessed.  Every night after work, my eight-year-son would run into me, professed his love to me loudly, “Mom, open your arms, stand steady!”, I’d quickly, dumped my bag, bend at my knees, and caught him, who’d, run into me from over ten meters away, in the speed of a sprint; then, he’d, stayed in my arms, and, told me of the interesting day he’d had at school that day.  Before bedtime, my husband would say goodnight to me the way he’d done, for ten years on end, “Honey, I love you so!”, in my house, love had, opened up this free-flowing two-lane freeway, but, how do I, and my mother, who don’t verbally speak of our love to one another show it?

a mother preparing the foods her loved ones enjoy to show love…NOT my photo.

Every time I’d gone back home to visit, mom would always cook my favorite triangle dumplings I’d loved so much.  Mom would place each and every one of those triangular dumplings into boiling water, waited until they floated back up, the skin became semi-transparent, then, put in the fried onions, chopped celery, and cilantro, and, soon enough, an ordinary but tasty pot of triangular dumpling was served.  Mom used foods, to show how much she loved me.

And, my love for mom was hidden, in the things I’d prepared for her, the sunscreen in the summers, the moisturizers in the winters, along with cosmetic things that makes her feel pretty.  Recently, I’d kept trying to find the cell phone bag that she can carry with her at all times to solve her problems of always searching for her cell phone.  Last week, I’d signed up for my leather course, I’d planned to make a cell phone case for mom, and, the end product made me forget how painful it was, for me, to thread the needles.  And, the instructor told me as a reminder, “You can customize the letters you wanted on your product yourself!”, I’d painted the leather with a layer of water with my paintbrush, then, pressed the metal letter blocks, then, used my hammer, to press them all on, with every letter, I’d read to myself, “L, O, V, E” and “U”, and, I’d, made my own special, one-of-a-kind appreciation for mom using my own unspoken ways.

I’d recalled the poem by June Hong, “Mom”: “Your love is like a full tub of bath water.  Warm, making me float.”  The love I can’t speak aloud, it’s life’s way of proving, that “love is everywhere”!

So, because your family is not so used to saying “I love you” especially in the older generations, they’re NOT used to verbalizing their love for their young, but, they’d, shown it, in making our favorite foods, preparing extra things for when we return home to visit, and, now you’d found your own way, to show your mother that you appreciated and loved her too.

The Princess Syndrome that Has No Cure, on Filial Relations

Being loved, cherished, and well taken care of by her beloved husband, that, is what all of us, women want to have in our separate marriages, translated…

“My mom has a weird illness, I don’t know what to do.”, I’d heard my son talking to his classmates, I was, very, shocked.  “She is, seriously ill, to the point, of not having any cures.”, my son got more and more worked up.  In his classmates’ pressing him for more, he’d stated, “My mother is diagnosed with a serious case of princess syndrome”, I’d chuckled hard, and caused the coffee I was sipping all come out of my mouth.

At age thirty-five, I’d done what my husband asked of me, being pregnant, I’d, given up on my rising career, waved goodbye to the workforce.  Several months later, as an elderly pregnant woman, after three days and three nights of being in labor, because the pain was so unbearable, heaven only knows how many hospital staff members I’d, alerted; my husband was there, right beside me, helping me, there were, multiple scratch marks on his arms too, and, as I’d finally, “unloaded” this heavy “burden” inside of my belly, I’d already, become totally, wiped out, to unconscious.  And, what happened during my delivery, became the most-talked-about-news of that hospital!

man and wife 的圖片結果like this maybe???  Not my photo…

After a week’s worth of hospitalization, my husband filed the paperwork for my discharge, and, drove me back to our apartment.  Without any warnings, he’d, lifted me up in his arms, in one breath, climbed up five flights of stairs, lifted me to our bed.  As I was placed on the bed to rest, I saw how hard my husband was hyperventilating, how his face was turning all red, I’d felt sorry for him.  And, even now, that scene still, stayed in my mind, like it’d, happened, yesterday.

My husband wasn’t the least bit romantic, nor would he say the words so sweet.  But, being thoughtful, whenever I’d, sneezed, he’d immediately, taken me to the doctors.  Every time I’d had a scratch on me, he’d applied the healing ointments on my skin, it’d given me that warmth I’d lacked growing up, without my parents.

In our sixties, we have totally different personalities, one of us very active, the other, very quiet.  In the over twenty years we’d married, it’s like, we’d danced our tango, in the dancefloor called life, danced to our own tempos.

My husband’s carefully looking after me, had all be observed by my son.  He’d once told me playfully, “Mom, dad’s responsible for your princess syndrome”, my good friend once inquired, “Do you regret giving up on your studies and career, and just stayed at home as a full-time housewife and mom?”, I’d thought hard for a bit, just like that saying of “you can’t have it both ways”, in this ordinary family of mine, it surely, is a blessing, that I had, “contracted” the princess syndrome.

someone to grow old with…not my photo.

So, this woman was, truly, very cherished by her husband, he’d taken good care of her, and, gave her all that she’d needed from him, looked after her like she was a daughter to him, and, the woman felt spoiled, and blissful, that her husband had treated her so wonderfully, making up for her not having a father growing up.

My Father’s Show of Care & Concern, on Filial Relations

How fathers normally showed the love they have for their young, with actions, and NOT words, translated…

It’s the end of the long holiday weekend, riding on the HSR usually, I’d made the exceptions, of driving back to Kaohsiung alone. Being a new driver, it was quite rare, for me, to drive this long journey, with my two children, I’d felt, a bit, nervous. My parents saw it, and, on the night before we set out, dad said, “I’ll head to Xiao-Gang, Kaohsiung, and book a flight for Kinmen, and I’ll, go home with you guys.”, I’d, nodded, thought, that it should make my way easier, with someone who’s, experienced by my side, I’ll take dad along, as a sort of a lucky charm, it’d make my drive home much relieved.

like this???  photo from online…

But, the very next morning before I set out, my dad took the car keys from me, with his swift hands, and, he’d made fun of me, “I’ll be the one, driving, I’m afraid, that I might, scold you if you drove.”, the elder had, stated, and, for the sake of the betterment of this world, I can only, become, his passenger-side driver, and, shouldered up the huge responsibilities of striking up conversations, eating and making criticisms on my dad’s driving skills, and the selection of the routes we should be taking.

As we got past Taichung, it was, about noon. I worried, that my children in the backseat are hungry, we’d, selected a small food shop at random, and went in, early, to resolve our lunch problems. As we’d entered into the shop, the two of us, father-and-daughter worked together, dad in charge of ordering, I, tending to my kids. Not long thereafter, a few freshly prepared plates of food were, served, the four of us, grandfather, daughter and grandchildren started, chowing down.

As I ate, I’d felt, that the food, wasn’t quite in season.

It is, a summer day that’s heated, and yet, dad ordered up, a plate of sliced ginger with lamb. And besides, he doesn’t really like, lamb, why would he order this dish? I’d eaten, and observed, and, surely, pops didn’t, move his chopsticks one bit, as I was, trying to figure it out, dad pushed the plate of lamb toward me, said, “This, is good for me, you need more of it.”

All of a sudden, I’d, gotten it. Turns out, before I set out, mom worried and nagged at me, “You’re so weakened, and you’re wearing, shorts, it would be troublesome, if you catch a cold”. Back then, I’d, just, brushed her warnings aside, dad was putting on his shoes close by, not said a single thing, but, he’d, carried my mother’s words with him, and ordered the foods to show his care and concerns towards me.

like this???  Not my photograph…

I’d, eaten that plate of lamb like a good daughter, as I chewed, I’d thought, that fathers showed their love, in a more covert manner. Unlike how mothers had, showed their love and care, and affections, so openly toward their children. Dads seemed to, show their love for us by actions, very lowkey, quietly, but, with the same amount of strengths. Like this plate of lamb cooked with ginger, or like how he’d changed the flights from Songshan Airport to Xiaogang Airport, or how he’d, managed, to get the keys away from me, and, disregarded the over hundred kilometer road trip, just to, see his, baby girl home safe and sound.

Because men are socialized, to keep their love unspoken, that, is why this father had, used his actions, to show his cares, concerns, and love for his own daughter, and, although, love isn’t spoken between the father and daughter, it surely was, felt!

Once, Inside a Reflection, a Poem

a painting of Narcissus from online…

On falling in love, and the timing was, WRONG!!! Translated…

I Once Saw You in a Reflection

The Skies Then Were, Bluer, than Blue

The Flowers, More Aromatic than Ever Before

And, You Appeared, So Breathtaking

For My Sake

And Those Sorrowful Tunes, Became Like the Funeral’s March

The Marches Became, Like the Whitened Towns

With Each Sunset, Imprinting Those

Elongated Shadows, into the Rivers

You’d, Stepped in the Innocence of Unknown

And I, Was Merely, Passing by, as the Sun Sets, a Careless

Piece of the Puzzle, and Just so Happened

I Caught a Gaze of Your Fiery-Red Hair

Back then, Life Was Multi-Dimensional

And Life Became, Geometric Shapes

Made by the Strokes of Picasso

They’re, All Blue

Not Collecting the Bitterness

Without Any Laws

Just, Taking Over the Heart, that Multi-Colored Arch

Poured the Birds, All Over the Skies

Not Knowing What Sorrow is

Or what Happiness Entailed

Those Heavy Days, the Sorrows

Were All, Separated, by a Thin Film

Why Had I, Seen You

In a, Reflection

The Spring Learned to Be Lonely

The Clouds of Worries, Rose Up to Your Brows

Time Became a Heavy Chain

And Since, I’d, Learned to Look Out

From the Vents

Why is it, that I’d

Met You Inside

A Reflection

So, there’s, that sense of regret, perhaps??? Because, had the narrator not met this other person the way that s/he had, then, maybe, there’s, a chance, for love to keep going, but, because, the narrator had met that person in a reflection, that, is why, the relationship was, doomed, because, unless you want to DROWN like Narcissus, you should KNOW better, than, to fall in love, with a reflection, because it’s NOT real!!!

Bundles of Flowers, from My Father-in-Law

The act of love from this elderly, to his daughter-in-law, translated…

It was, 1981, my firstborn came to the world, when I was thirty-two weeks in, started, living in the incubators, and I too, stayed at the hospital for an entire week.

like this???  Photo from online…

What impressed me the deepest, however, was back then, my father-in-law who was in his sixties, other than taking the bus then transferring to the trains, from the countryside to the hospital to see me, other than delivering the foods, he’d also, plucked the flowers in bloom from the gardens, and brought them to me, put it into a plastic cup that’s found in the ward, then, flashing his loving smiles toward me.

These flowers are often, two stems of roses, with a small bundle of Bougainvillea; sometimes, it’s, stems of rosy periwinkle with azaleas, with that hint of cuteness, in the plainness of the flowers.  Sense of artistry: none, scent: slightly; color: ordinary; heart: full, and I was, very moved by his actions.  It’d made my roommate envious!  Surely, don’t know what I’d done, in a past life, to be so lucky, to be the daughter-in-law to such a wonderful man.

These couple of years, the Taiwanese public were in a frenzy, with the flower seasons, every year, the orchids shows in Tainan, the carpet of flowers in Taichung is more and more populated, but in my heart, the most beautiful flowers were still, those bundles of flowers that my father-in-law plucked and brought from home to visit me with.

bringing flowers to someone in the hospital 的圖片結果like this, perhaps???  Photo from online…

So, this, is the heart of this father-in-law, he’d shown his love for this daughter-in-law, by taking the time, plucking down the flowers he has around him, wrapped them up in bundles, and, taking it to visit her in the hospitals, and, this woman felt how much heart the elder had in getting the flowers for her too.

My Second Daughter

The closeness of sister, on how this woman helped out with her younger sister’s pregnancy and newborn child, translated…

Back then, I got pregnant with my younger sister, and, my due date was a couple of weeks earlier than hers. After giving birth, I’d stayed at home for my month’s recovery, and, on the few days the month’s time was about, I’d missed my mother’s cooking, and, in order to satisfy my appetite, I’d asked my sister to come home with me to visit mom.

Half way through the meal, my younger sister felt awful, I took her into the bedroom to rest up, she’d asked, with a pale face, “Older sister, what, do contractions feel like?”, I’d carried my almost-a-month-old daughter in my arms, replied, carelessly, “If your baby is coming, you’d surely, know it!”

But, as I’d returned home, to that month-long sleep deprivation phase, my younger sister who’s not-yet eight-months in her pregnancy, was lifted to the E.R. in the middle of the nights.

The very next morning, I got a heartbroken call from mom, her voice shook, said, “Your sister delivered last night, the baby was so tiny, she felt, so awful………”, I’d become, dumbfounded, recalled that worried look on my younger sister’s face, and couldn’t even imagine how my parents, my brother-in-law had, cope with that sense of panic, with her delivering her child early.

My sister who was weak, couldn’t even manage to get her needed rest, other than constructing her own mind, she’d used the short time frame she was allotted, to visit her premature child. My father couldn’t bare how worried she was, told her to go through her month-after-birth recovery process completely, she’d cried, “You’re thinking of your daughter, what about mine? I’d, wanted what’s best for her too!”, later on, my father delivered my younger sister’s breast milk to the hospital every single day to her child, so she could stay at home, and recuperate. We all hoped, that that baby that’s in the incubator will grow up healthy.

Back then, I was, a first-time mom, wishing I had extra pairs of arms, I couldn’t, help my sister in any way, I’d heard, that breast milk are good for the baby, and, I can only, make sure I produce enough, to pack two servings for the baby.

And now, in my whole family’s carefully looking after her, this “second daughter” of mine is pretty and healthy, and now, she’d become, the best sister my daughter had, her constant playmate too. As the cousins held hands when they’re out, we’d received the inquires, “Wow, so cute, are they, twins?”

So, this, is how a woman watches over her own sister, because they shared close births, and, because the niece was born prematurely, the sister felt compelled, to help out, and, with the whole family, working together, helping the sister’s baby get healthy, as well as helping her recover from the stresses of giving birth, the children are now, growing up together, healthily!

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