Photos of the Family…

Having these photos, still paled, by comparisons from having each other’s company, translated…

Modern day people, with their cell phones in hand, photos are taken so easily, but, if these photos have the heat attached to them, there would be, more values to them.

which would you prefer, this???  Photo from online…查看來源圖片

The children of my uncle are both married, there’s, just the him and his wife living at home now.  His daughter works in the U.S., rarely had the time to visit Taiwan; their son is also, busy at work, and can only take his wife and children home once a month.  He’d gotten the photos of their family vacations developed, and saved them inside a letter sized photo album.

My aunt who’s now demented will flip through the album at least once a day, and sometimes, she’d pointed to herself in the picture, and asked people around her, who that is?  While my uncle wasn’t the least bit interested in the photos.  As his daughter-in-law told him from before, it took them a lot of money, to have all the photos developed, and my uncle told me privately, that compared to the photographs, he’d preferred that his son can visit him at home more often, or give him a call.  That would have, more heat than these, cold photos!

or this???查看來源圖片

With the advancements in technology, no matter how advance, it still, can’t replace the face-to-face interactions of people.  The photos can only keep the memories, but, they can’t, keep the time that we have with our loved ones.  If we can, take less pictures, spend more time together, the memories saved inside our minds, that, is what’s, most precious.

This, is too true, isn’t it, would you rather, have the photos of all your children, grandchildren, surrounding you, so you can flip through those albums every single day, to remember the times you’d spent together, or, would you rather, have your kids and grandkids around you, to physically interact with?

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The Gifts of Surprise from My Husband

The gifts this woman received from her husband, it’s still, the HEART that counts, more than what she’d, received from him, translated…

At the start of the month, my husband came to me with a package, with that mischievous smile, said, “here, consider this, a Mother’s Day Present”. It was still, over fifteen days from Mother’s Day, I’d, looked at this package, with unknown content, flashed my awkward smile at him, and, I was, reminded of how, he’d, surprised me from before.

One day, he’d placed a bar of soap looking all excited on my desk, told me, “here, the soap is made with nanotechnology, it can clean things deeply, take away the dirt, it’s also, antiseptic, can become this protective film on your hands, it’s, from the newest nanotechnology.” It was, as if, I was, hearing an infomercial, I’d thought, “How dirty am I, that I’d, needed something like this, to wash myself”, I’d, rebutted, “I don’t CARE what special effects it had, I only care about if I smelled! And, why did you, give me soap?” At this time, he’d, stuttered, “Didn’t you tell me you liked the various scented soaps? Happy Valentine’s Day!”, I’d, gazed over at the calendar on the walls, and, it’d, hit me.

illustration from the papers online…圖/黃鼻子

There was once more, after my husband returned from his business trip, he’d, pulled out a small box as he came home, to give to me, I’d, opened up the box, and, gazed at the necklace with the pendant, and, I’d, pondered, that the object looked, like an animal, and, my son moved in, and stated, “Why is this duck so black?”, my husband immediately leapt up, stated, “How can this be a duck? The neck of a duck is way shorter, it’s a swan, can’t you see, the longer neck on it?” He’d gloated, “You’d told me, that your necklaces turned black after you’d worn it for long, but, this black swan is originally black, so, even if it’d become rusted, you can’t tell!”, after I’d heard, should I not, laugh hysterically, at how well-thought out it was of him?

Coming back to that package in my lap, I’d, opened it, it was, a navy blue piece of cloth, as I’d, tried to figure out what it was, my husband started, doubting what he’d, bought, and, immediately, searched for that photo that’s, caught his eyes online, it took him some time, to finally find the display on a model, and, I’d, put it on, but, as soon as my daughter saw, she’d, pointed at me, said, “Mom, you are, wearing an apron?” Don’t know if it was that I’d lacked that flair, or if the clothes were, mistaken for something else, anyways, the two of us, started laughing, with my husband, lost, in his own mistakes.

In the days of getting mixed in with the nitty-gritty of life, it’s, easy to construe our partners into another us, and, we’d, taken things for granted, and, life became, nothing but routines. And yet, these surprise gifts from my husband became like a “pause button”, in the interesting misunderstandings, I saw his true heart, and, we’d, both gotten, reminded of how important we are, to each other in life.

I’d, found one day, put on that mysterious skirt with the suspenders, put on the black swan necklace, seeing how satisfied my husband looked when he gazed upon me, like he was, seeing a world class beauty!

And so, this, is how thoughtful the husband was toward this woman, he’d wanted to give her something to show her that he loves her, and, there were, times when she’d, misunderstood him, and, yet, it still, didn’t take away from the love the man showed toward his own wife.

He Had Closed Up His Store, to Accompany His Own Younger Brother to School, to Help Him Live the Dreams of Going to College

The love this man has for his younger brother, willing to put up the shop he’d owned and operated, to help him live his dreams, it’s, truly, amazing! From the Front Page Sections, translated…

The graduate of the applied math department from Chiayi University was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, his older brother by twelve years, Nai-Wei Kuo entered into college with him four years ago, took care of his living. As the school hosted its graduation ceremonies, Kuo received the award of being a good student; while his older brother, although not a formal student, the university still gave him a “Friends-Brother Award”, to applaud how close the siblings are.

郭乃誌對桌遊有興趣,曾在嘉大主辦桌遊活動,哥哥郭乃維在一旁當助教。圖/郭乃誌提供in the extracurricular activities together, photo from UDN.com…

Kuo was born with the conditions, but he’d, never given in to his own fate, after he passed the entrance exams for the university, he’d gone to the classes on time, never missed a day, and, worked toward his five-year college degree, and, worked as a part-time help as they data entry in the student center, to broaden his social circle.

The parents of these young men are in business, they are economically well. Four years ago, Nai-Ji Kuo passed the entrance exam and got accepted into the Chiayi University, his older brother decided to close his vegetarian food shop at the malls, and entered into the university alongside his younger brother, to take care of his daily living, along with the three meals.

Chiayi University stated, that Kuo worked hard, to live in the moment, had been awarded the scholarships each and every semester. His older brother was even more outstanding, just kept giving to him, without any complaints, that he needed to get noticed for it.

After Kuo graduated from the university, he’d, gone on into the graduate department, and, his brother will be, accompanying by his side, fighting this “war with mathematics” for the next two years. He said, in the future, whatever his younger brother wanted to learn, he will be, right there besides him, in his pursuits.

國立嘉義大學應用數學系大四生郭乃誌患有先天脊椎性肌肉萎縮症,長他12歲的胞兄郭乃...going to the classes togehter, photo from UDN.com…

And, this is the devotion of this man toward his younger brother, because his younger has a dream, he’d, stopped everything he was doing for his own life, to help his younger brother live his dreams, and, it’d, made the younger brother’s dreams of attending university come true, and, they will be, going to grad school together next!

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!

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!

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…