Taking Mom to See the Seas

So little, what mothers really wanted, such simple wishes, and yet, it’d, taken this long, for the woman, to finally live it! Translated…

My mother is a traditional woman from an agricultural background, in her mind, there’s only her husband and her children, she’d, worked hard for the sake of her family, she’d often told, that her biggest wish was that all of her children and grandchildren are healthy, and there’s, nothing she’d, wanted.

a photo from the trip they took together…from UDN.com…圖/劉秀芳(高雄三民)

For long, I kept thinking, that my mother had no other hobbies or interests, other than going back home, she’d, never been anywhere else, plus she couldn’t ride a scooter, didn’t know how to take the public transportation systems, her social circle, is only riding her bicycle to the marketplaces to shop around. And we’d believed that it’s her ordinary day-to-day living, never thought about bringing her someplace special.

One day I was sitting by her watching T.V. at home, the T.V. showed the beautiful shorelines, she’d stared at the screen for a very long time, then, asked me, “there’s water by the oceans, right?”, I’d asked her if she wanted to go? She’d nodded her head, timidly, said she’d always wanted to go see the oceans, but we’re, too busy, she’d not felt right, troubling us, and said, that her spirits would be lifted as she sees the oceans.

Ahhhhhhhhhh! This was that story from our schooling years of how mom loved the head of the fish, turns out, our beliefs were, completely, wrong. I’d already, contacted my eldest sister, this Mother’s Day, we’re, taking her to see the oceans, to fulfill her long-time wish, and, whenever we have the time, we’d, all take her to see the oceans now.

And because the past generations of women aren’t like us, so outspoken, they usually, kept what they wish for locked up deep inside their minds, and, every once in a while, they would, toss out these “hints”, hoping that those around them can catch it, and this time, this woman caught it, and, made her mother happy!

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The Mother’s Day Presents I’d Received Over the Years

The thoughts, are what counts most! Translated…

The very first time I’d ever received a Mother’s Day present was when my daughter was in kindergarten, the teachers taught them to make paper stars with strips of colored paper; my daughter made over hundreds, and put them into a small glass jar, and I’d cherished this first Mother’s Day present to this very day. All the blessings from these stars, had my daughter’s purest love, hope, and they were also, a symbol of her own, shiny dreams too.

handmade items from when they were younger like this…photo from online…查看來源圖片

On the Mother’s Days that came later, the two of them would make the beautiful, creative cards by hand to give to me, with the words they’d, written inside, I was surprised each and every year, moved to tears too. After they got into college, and started part-timing, the presents became, practical; sometimes, it’s a book, a box of chocolates, a couple carnations, one year, the two of them treated me out to a steakhouse supper.

Before Mother’s Day last year, I’d sighed, on how I’d, aged, that there were, crow’s feet by the corners of my eyes now, that if I have a bottle of that magical serum to reduce the years, how wonderful might that be? And, without knowing, that my daughters, took my words to heart. Early morning on Mother’s Day, there was, a set of cosmetic counter products, with the eye cream, lotion, toner, along with a pink card. I was surprised, and moved, I actually, felt very bad over it, they’d worked hard outside of class, and didn’t get to spend what they’d earned, instead, they’d, spent it all, on buying me the presents. And, as their birthdays came, I’d, given them back the money in red envelopes. Their hearts were, what moved me the most, actually, I didn’t care if there were, presents or not, so long as they’re, happy in life, I’d feel, blessed.

to when they made the money from their part-time jobs…查看來源圖片photo from online…

People say that daughters are closest to our hearts, I’m glad to have two. They’re, in the primes of their lives, and just like all the younger women, they’d, cared a lot about the way they looked, chased after the fashion trends, and knew which products are cheap and good to use, and, it’d, benefitted their mom too. Like from before I was going back to my old reunion, they say that I looked too old-school, and searched online for the more fashionable clothes and accessories, it’d made me, the center of the attention at my reunion.

Awhile ago, my eldest went to get her eyebrows done, I’d said it’d made her looked, even more beautiful, I watched her put on her makeup the other day, and, couldn’t help, but commend her own the Korean style eyebrows looked so fitting on her face. The very next day, I’d heard my daughters discussing quietly, they seemed to have decided on paying for my eyebrow treatments for Mother’s Day too, I’d immediately told them, I do NOT want to get my eyebrows done, I’d liked mine natural. My daughter’s heart, I’d taken in, I really don’t want them to spend any more money on giving me the presents for Mother’s Day.

Every year around Mother’s Day, the female coworkers would always compared the gifts their children gave them, and gloated about it, and they’d all said in synchrony, actually, mothers don’t need any gifts, so long as our young are very well-behaved, independent, with a bright future, that, is all that us, mothers can want!

to treating their mother out to dine…photo from online…

And so, the daughters giving their mother the gifts, were the ways they showed their appreciation to her, and, the mother was grateful, to have two daughters who showed her the love, but sometimes, you can show love, without the gifts, by being kind and gentle toward those closest to you on a regular basis, and that would be, enough!

“I Shall be the Eyes for My Parents”, the Young Man Led His Parents Up the Podium as the Family Was Awarded for Being Wonderful

A child, who realized how hard his parents had it, and genuinely wanted to help them out, a good example of how the offspring should behave, from the Newspapers, translated…

The elementary school student, Chen, whose parents are both visually impaired, starting in his preschool years, he’d watched over his own parents, very understanding, in following the unspoken rules of filial piety, his family received the model family nationally for the city of Keelung, he’d gently led his mother by the hand, with his father, led by his mother’s shoulders, he’d become his parents’ “eyes”, the three of them step by step, walked onto the stage to receive the awards. Chen said, “I will become my parents’ eyes forever,” and it’d moved everybody who was there.

Of the fifty-eight families who won the awards, both Chen’s parents were severely visually impaired, they own and massage shop, Chen had been independent since he was a young child, starting in his preschool years, he’d helped sweep the floors of the shop, done the laundry, made the beds, he’d also helped his parents made the meals too, was his parents’ left and right hand.

Chen said, “When we go out, I’d taken my parents’ hands, to help them cross the streets”, as the awards were being given out, he’d taken his mother’s hand, and his father placed his hand onto his mother’s shoulders, the three moved along slowly toward the podium, he’d also given the warnings of “be careful where you step”, and it’d moved everybody in attendance at the ceremonies.

獲獎的陳韋仁(左)挽著母親的手,父親再把手搭在母親肩上,他當起雙親的眼睛引導他們...photo from UDN.com…

“My mother would prepare the foods I loved, and dad would teach me the values of life,” Chen stated, that he’d not gotten any less love from his visually impaired parents at all, he said, he’d led his parents to their doctors’ appointments, to stroll the night markets, “I will be my parents’ eyes forever!”, being so young, and yet, he’d, behaved so much like an adult already.

His school principal told, that he was very mature for his age, understanding, in order to help their son grow up healthy, the parents overcome their visual impairment, and went outdoors, he was their eyes, very independent at a young age, taking his parents outside, so they can know, the wonders of the world they live in.

And so, this young man took on the task of taking care of his parents, without any word of complaints, because his parents couldn’t see, and, he took up the responsibilities to care for them, and that, is the actions of a child who fitted perfectly into the filial piety values of Asian societies.

How We Celebrate Mother’s Day

Splitting up our schedules, so we would have time with our separate families, translated…

My wife is from Kaohsiung, she’d married me at age twenty-eight, and lived with me in Taipei, living alongside me, focusing her life on my family of origin and I, every year around the New Year’s or the holidays, the parents’ and elder’s birthdays, we’d spent in Taipei; and we’d only gone back to her home in Kaohsiung on New Year’s and winter and summer vacations, most of the other times, we can only make the phone calls back to her parents.

Several years ago, things started changing, my wife finally received her doctorate, and luckily, she’d found a teaching position in Kaohsiung, and so, she’d taken our younger daughter back home to live, and I lived with my college age son in Taipei. My wife’s scheduling was way more flexible than my schedules in the high school I’m teaching in, and so, she was the one, traveling to Taipei from Kaohsiung, and back.

The very first Mother’s Day after we’d, “split up”, in order to make the time for Taipei’s schedule, she’d especially have a Mother’s Day celebration in Kaohsiung for her own mother. Before Mother’s Day the following year, my mother opened up, said that we lived in Taipei, that we can gather at any time, that we should be the ones, having the Mother’s Day celebration a week early; that way, on Mother’s Day, my wife would be able to stay in Kaohsiung, to spend the day with her parents.

And this, is how we spent Mother’s Day now.

And so, this mother-in-law was very kind, and thoughtful, and, her act of kindness made the family work even better together, because I’m more than certain, that the man’s wife appreciated her mother-in-law’s kind gestures, to let her go back home to spend Mother’s Day with her side of the family.

The Nostalgia Runs Long, Like a Flowing River

His father’s old clothes, as a reminder of the love of his parents, now that his parents are, gone, translated…

It was, a few months after my father-in-law passed away, while we were back home, my mother-in-law sorted through my father-in-law’s clothes, had her sons pick a few, as memorabilia. The rest of his siblings turned it down, said it wasn’t necessary, told my mother-in-law immediately, took back all the clothes for recycling, or donated the items to the needy. My mother-in-law wasn’t willing to, with her sorrowful eyes, looked toward my husband for console, my husband took the clothes from her, like holding something treasured, told her that they’re all very new, and that he shall, keep them to wear. My mother-in-law didn’t say another word, walked back into her bedroom, but, she seemed, to feel comforted by my husband’s actions.

查看來源圖片something this ordinary, with so much sentimental values attached, photo from online…

Actually, my husband was one size larger than my father-in-law, and, those clothes became, too short at the sleeves, the pant legs for him, he’d asked me, to pack all of it up, to bring them home with us, I’d guessed, it was, to help make my mother-in-law feel better!

In a blink of an eye, my mother-in-law had passed on for many years. And, my husband missed his parents more and more by the day, and, as he’d talked of my mother-in-law, he’d felt emotional, recalled all the fun things that happened between him and his mother when he was just a young child, a second ago, he was just, laughing out loud, then, the following, he was, turning his head, quietly, wiping his tears away; as he’d accompanied me to my parents, he’d always looked lost, told me, “I’m so envious of you, still have a mom.” Seeing how I was, helping my mom with something, he’d sighed, on how now he’d wanted to, fulfill his filial piety duties to his parents, he was, no longer able to.

At the start of the year, I’d taken my son to clean out the closets, my son asked where those old clothes came from, I’d mentioned it to him, he’d fallen, silent, I don’t know how much he’d understood about the loss that his dad experienced over losing his parents. On the especially colder days, I’d see my husband, take out my father-in-law’s jacket, and put it over his shirt, and I’d known, he was, missing his dad, putting his old clothes on, it was like, he was, in his father’s arms again; I’m sure, that my mother-in-law was more than thoughtful back then, knew my husband’s mind like a child’s, how he would, long for their love for him.

And so, this, is the kindness that’s, passed from one generation to the next, the husband took his father’s clothes from his mother, to ease her mind, and now, whenever he’d missed his parents, he’d, put on the clothes that was passed down to him from his own father, to reminisce how much love they loved him and he loved them too, and that, is the only thing he could, hold on to, because his parents are, both gone…

No Longer Missing Out

Entering the next stage of his life after retirement, thoughts of a grandfather translated…

After the New Year’s holidays, I’d sudden realized, that it was the one year anniversary since my retirement, some say, that without anything to do, retirement would be so boring, the time would pass by too slowly, but in this past year, I’d felt, that as I’d spaced out, relaxed, that time passed faster than when I was working, and what fulfilled me during this time was playing with my young grandchild.

Based off of the healthy living beliefs, the elderly should NOT have so much sweets, and that the character should be used as an adjective instead, that it’s a sweeter kind of burden. In recent years, there was this huge shift in the working environment, the company was having a difficult time operating, and what had stiffened up my heart to retire was my former colleague, Phoebe’s words, “You’d already missed out on your children’s childhoods, don’t miss your grandchild’s too!”

圖/想樂illustration fom the papers online…

For thirty plus years, as I’d worked out all day long, I’d relied on my wife to look after our two children, later I got transferred to the main office in Taipei, I’d lacked the time to spend with the families; Phoebe half jokingly accusing me, was such a wakeup call.

As my grandson turned one, he was taken care of by just his grandmother, and it surely would be, tiresome, as grandma was about to crack, looking after him, I’d retired back home, and without anything taking up my mind, I’d, focused on looking after my young grandchild.

My son and daughter-in-law worked during the daytime, and they’d handed their young to us; when my son works nights, my daughter-in-law would take my grandson back to her parents for a short stay. It’s just the two in-laws who are staying at home too, and the young grandson became something that made both our families happy.

含飴弄孫 的圖片結果like this???  Image found online…

As mothers took care of the children in the earlier years, they’d followed the rules on the books, and now, they’d followed the rules online, my wife in order to look after this precious grandchild of ours, she’d researched a ton of information from online, and accepted the invitations to the related groups in FB, to share her thoughts constantly with the professionals as well as other mothers too, and she’d prepared the foods, over a dozen varieties, then, blended up into mush, to feed it to our grandchild.

When it got cold or rained, I’d driven to where my son lives to pick him up, and the security at his building asked curiously, that are nannies supposed to do the picking up and dropping off too?

From learning to walk, to talk, to now, a little over two years old, and started chattering endlessly, inquiring, “What’s this?” “What time is it?” “What’s grandma cooking?” Or with that illustrated book, for grandma and grandpa to read to him, or to find if there are stickers that he could, play with.

My daughter-in-law already taught the young lad the numbers and simple words, and, although he’d spoken with that baby tone, he could already, recite the English alphabets in a song, and, as he’d encountered the characters he could read on the streets or in books, he’d excitedly recited them aloud, or roll called the cars that are parked by the streets.

When the weather’s nice, I’d taken him out for strolls, he’d said he’d wanted to walk the dog, and I’d had to walk the dog with one hand, my grandson with the others.

This year, my daughter-in-law was done with her maternity leave, and started working again, my grandson seemed to have grown up overnight, as I’d carried him upstairs for his naps, he’d stopped, sucking on the pacifier, which made me feel most achieved; seeing grandma making the stewed eggs, he’d volunteered to take the shells off; as we’d gone into the gardens, he’d followed my lead in watering the plants too.

“Grandpa, I’m here now!” became what I wanted to hear the most every day, I shall, NEVER miss a day of my young grandson’s happy childhood years.

So, with the coming of retirement, you’d gotten a ton of spare time on your hand, but you’d not, taken your time off, you’re now, in charge of taking care of your young grandson, and you’d gotten the opportunity, to make up for the time lost in the past as your own young when they were growing up, because you were working…

Taking My Mother Abroad! For Her Birthday AND Mother’s Day

Celebrating her mother’s birthday, by giving her a surprise, the thoughtfulness of this daughter, making memories with her mom, translated…

My mother’s birthday was in March, she’d turned seventy this year (this is something MAJOR! As life begins, AT 70! My mother’s only begun in her “youth”), and Mother’s Day is in May, and so, I’d, talked to her, and gave her an early Mother’s Day celebration, because of works, I’d signed on for a trip to Japan back in April.

圖/李淑華(高雄鳳山)the photo of the woman with her mother, photo couretsy of UDN.com…

My mother, who’d longed to visit Japan, was super ecstatic, completely forgot about her birthday, and every day she’d gone shopping at the marketplaces, she’d told everybody that she was going to Japan. And, everybody who worked there knew that her daughter will be taking her to Japan for Mother’s Day, after I’d paid the nonrefundable fees, she’d chimed on, asked me if it will be cold there? Tt we need to buy what we need for the trip, I’d gone to pay for the trip, and gone to the orientations of what we’re supposed to bring, she’d wanted to go too, and I’d told her it wasn’t necessary, that I’ll tell her what she needs on the trip after I’d gone to the orientation. As I’d come back, she’d asked me repeatedly on what was told by the tour group, and she’d, focused in on listening to me explain too, she’d packed her luggage long before already too.

As we’d arrived, mom became excited like a young child, as she saw the cherry blossoms, she’d commented on how pretty they were; how the strawberries were so huge and so sweet; how the scenes were so beautiful, and how clean the tourist attraction sights were; how the air was so fresh, like when you stick your head into the fridge; how the Japanese people were so very courteous, that even the cars would let the pedestrians go first; that they’d not started honking at us; and how come there were so many plates each and every meal, and served with ice cold water………seeing how excited she was, how she’d inquired like an excited child, it was so very cute! She kept stating she wanted to come back to visit again, the five-day trip, wasn’t fast enough, wasn’t too slow either, and, we’re finally, headed back to Taiwan.

On the flight back, the tour guide came over to us, brought a small gift to mom: Aunty! Happy birthday, happy Mother’s Day, may you be blessed with good health! And she was so surprised and ecstatic, kept holding the tour guide’s hand tight, thanking him, our tour group even sang Happy Birthday, I saw my mother grinning ear to ear. But she didn’t know, that I’d, asked the travel agency, to give her a surprise, so she’ll have an unforgettable birthday AND Mother’s Day.

Look at this photo, of her at the plaza in Kumamoto (because the earthquake made it collapse, so we can only look at it from a distance), you can tell, how happy she was every day of our trip together.

And so, this, is the thoughtfulness of this daughter, she’d taken her mother on a trip, to celebrate her birthday, combined with Mother’s Day too, and, it’d made her mother so happy, and that, is what’s important, to make our parents happy in their elderly years…