Growing up in an era of hardship, and this, was the result from the sacrifices that their eldest sister had, made, translated…
“Your eldest aunt came to Pingdong, and yesterday, mommy took her to Tainan to offer the incenses to grandpa and grandma, I saw her, patting their urn, said she’d wanted your grandma and grandpa to feel the temperature from her hands, she’s, really, a wonderful daughter.” I’d left this brief message on my family’s group page, and it’d, moved all the kids.
Awhile ago, my eldest sister who was eight years my senior came south, I’d become, the host, drove her around, to Wanluan to have the pork’s feet, and bought the layered pastries that was so famous from there, along with, other delicacies of the locale, seeing her with her satisfied smile, I’d felt, very well. “The eldest sister was like a mother”, that fitted my eldest sister’s life completely.
After mom married dad, who was the eldest son of his family, she’d had seven daughters consecutively, and, in the era of sexism in the 1950s, my mother felt the pressures from the relatives. Since I could recall, my mother always had bad temper, and, all of us, sisters, just, stayed far out of her way. As my eldest sister started her middle school, commuting to Hsinying from Yenshui, my mother always asked her to make a trip to the shops, to not press the family to pay up what we’d owed the separate shops, and so, my eldest sister made the wish, to help out with the household finances when she was very young.
Right after middle school, she’d not continued her education, left home, and started working, had her share of hardships, only hoping, to help the family pay up the debts that we owed. And, for a long time, all of us, family who are only able to rent the residences, in her hard work, we’d not only paid up all the debts, we’d, accumulated some savings, and bought an apartment up north.
five sisters, photo from online…
What impressed me the most, was how I’d gotten into the teacher’s college and Tainan All-Girls’ High School, and, probably because I’d read too many romance novels, I’d dreamed about attending the regular high schools, to head off to college, to live a colorful life, and, bugged my parents, to give me my dreams. But, back then, we’d just, made the down payment for our home, with the installments that awaits all of us, although my eldest sister had, promised, she’ll, take care of my tuition, in the end, considering the economics, I’d still, gone to the teacher’s college, that had the scholarship programs. And back then, there were two students from my classes who’d done really well, who’d gotten into the Tainan All-Girl’s High School as secondaries, but didn’t go, because of their family backgrounds, and started working at the factories up north. Thinking about it, how many girls were, slaughtered, during that era in time.
And, of us sisters, my eldest sister was the most petit, when my mother was still alive, she’d told, that because since my eldest sister was in the elementary years, she’d helped carried us all, younger sisters, that’s what, kept her, from growing taller; plus as she was developing, we were, poor, and my parents couldn’t give her the food that helped her grow taller, and it’d, hurt, thinking about that. I’m more than grateful, that we were, lucky enough, to have our eldest sister, who was like, a second mother to us, as siblings.
And so, during that era, everything was hard, and, the eldest children in each families were often, forced to give up their dreams, to help out the families, and this, was exactly what the eldest sister of this family had done, and, her siblings appreciated her for it, now that they’re, older, and understood more about life in general.