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.

Reason Why I Quit Smoking

For the sake of your own health, for the health of your loved ones???  What ELSE, huh???  Translated…

Why I’d begun smoking?  It was, too long ago, I can no longer recall.  But, in the current atmosphere of banning smoking, all the reasons went out the windows; I’d Googled the saying, “a cigarette after meal, happy as an angel”, I’d wanted to find some proofs that made my behaviors acceptable, only to find, that the phrases got altered to, “a cigarette after each meal, sends you to heaven sooner!”

I was born in the 1950s, with a son from the 1990s, can I not, cherish and treasure him so?  After I got married, I’d, stopped smoking inside the house, during the time of my wife’s pregnancy, I’d brushed my teeth, rinsed my throat more and more often, and, I’d made myself showered, before I get anywhere NEAR my angelic baby, and felt his right hook toward me, it was, such an amazing moment.  But, you’d ask, why don’t I sign up for a quit-smoking clinic trial, and just, be done with smoking altogether?  I know I should, but, I just, never did.

Saying NO!  Not my photo…

Before school age, foods, play, sleep, I am the skies, whatever I say, goes.  After my son started school, the school teacher became the authority, whatever SHE said, went.  The anti-smoking education in Taiwan is a success, the teacher played the shorts of how smoking can be damaging to the health, and, stopped the videos at the scary photos posted on the cartons, even shown the photos of pork liver that’s turned black-and-purple, as well as the smoked yellow tissue papers to show the downside to smoking, and, of these, what convinced me the most, was the worst effects of secondhand smoke, a thousand carcinogens attached themselves to any and everything indoors, and, they can’t be rid of through the years, and, as I thought about my son who would crawl and touch everything, how can I, still feel fitting, to continue smoking?

The family gathering before my son’s basic skills exam on his last year of middle school, my youngest brother-in-law asked him which high school he’d wanted to attend, “The high school set up by the Taiwan Teacher’s University”, he’d blurted it out.  I’d recalled how he’d, not gotten in to the better schools of the northern territories, I’d blurted it out, “If you get in, I shall, quit smoking!”  Everybody was a witness, it’s set then.  On the day the grades were posted, he’d kept a straight face, said, that he’d wanted to wait until the essay portions were, graded to tell us, but, there was, that light smile on his lips, I was, so thrilled, and, I’d felt, awful about it.

And he did, become, the son of the blue skies (a nickname for the high school students at the high school set up by the Teachers’ University), and, in order to keep my promise, I’d, quit smoking, a bad habit I’d kept, for forty years on end, and, I’d, not smoked a single puff in five whole years.

It’s the testing seasons again, the added perk of getting into the school they’d wanted to—asking the loved ones to quit smoking, allow us all, to become, ambassadors of the Bosses’ Foundation, stay away from smoking, and keep healthy and safe!

the first step, throw it out yourself!  Photo from online…

So, this man finally had a motivation to QUIT smoking, and, I’m pretty sure he’d had tried quitting before, but, the “rewards” weren’t big enough for him, but this time, his own son gave HIM an ultimatum, and, quitting smoking WAS for his own good, and, because he wanted to set a good example for his son that he had when he was older, that, was probably how he was, able to quit smoking successfully!

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!

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.

Save Some Face, for One’s Daughter-in-Law

If you want to do it, then, don’t complaint, and if you want to complain, then, don’t do it, simple as that!  Translated…

“My bad fortune came in the elderly years, I’m already eighty, and still had to cook for my daughter-in-law!”, Auntie Man started complaining to Auntie Rong again.  Auntie Man’s husband died when she was younger, leaving behind, a pair of young children, and she’d worked as a maid, to raise them up into adulthood years.

Since her son married, Auntie Man started carrying the household chores upon herself, so her son, her daughter-in-law can go to work, and, after her grandchild was born, she’d helped out in raising him up too.  Many years later, she’s still responsible, for cooking for her family of five.  She said, that she was, cooking for the sake of her grandson, because her daughter-in-law wouldn’t set foot into the kitchens.  And, Auntie Man would complain to ALL who will listen to her, and in the end, the words got back to the daughter-in-law’s ears, and, she’d treated her mother-in-law even more coldly, the two of them don’t interact at all.

“So, why don’t you just, stop cooking, and let the family take care of their own meals; if you still want to cook, then, don’t complain.  You must think, of how your daughter-in-law would feel, as she’d heard these gossips about her too, that would, make her lose face, right?  You need to be glad, that you’re still, very able-bodied, how many friends of yours had, passed away and died?  You’re more than blessed, to be able to, take care of your own daily living, you are, very blessed!”

After Auntie Rong got through to her, Auntie Man’s moods finally, lifted up, and no longer complained to the neighbors about, how she was, taking care of all the meals of her family, and, the relationship of her and her daughter-in-law improved as well.

So, in this case, the problem rests in the mother-in-law, she doesn’t want to cook for her entire family, and yet, she still did it, and complained about it, and, her complaints got into her own daughter-in-law’s ears, and that, was why her daughter-in-law got on bad terms with her, but, since the friend/neighbor helped the woman see things a different way, she’d stopped complaining, and, as she’d stopped complaining, her relationship with her daughter-in-law improve, and, what do you think that showed?  Exactly!

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!